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

BlackMaryJanes Wed 27-Mar-13 13:36:30

What does he think?

DiscoDonkey Wed 27-Mar-13 13:36:45

Not unreasonable to be sad but it between your ex and his girlfriend it would be wrong to try to influence how he handles this.

ChairmanWow Wed 27-Mar-13 13:38:14

That's such a tricky one, and I'm afraid I can see both sides. You've been very lucky to be able to maintain such a positive relationship with your ex. Extremely rare for such things to work without any underlying feelings to complicate things. And if that is truly the case it must have benefitted your daughter too.

However whilst I don't think YABU in intent try to see things from the perspective of your ex's partner. She's pregnant with his child while he's (presumably to her mind) off playing happy families with his ex. I think most people would struggle with this and I do see her point about confusing their son. I guess it's time to accept that he's moved on and the more traditional arrangements for kids of separated parents will apply from now on.

VanitasVanitatum Wed 27-Mar-13 13:38:58

Of course you're not being unreasonable to put your DD first. Suggest that when her Dc is older they can both join in. Ultimately it will be up to him to work out though, if she says no and he listens to her there is not really anything you can do.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Wed 27-Mar-13 13:42:59

Is your daughter going to still get to spend a lot of time with her dad?

I think what you describe is nice. There's no reason people have to hate each other when they split up. If you all get on well, that's a good thing, surely?

I am sure that the reality is that she's jealous. I seriously doubt that its that it would be unfair on her child. That's just really daft. Her child would grow up knowing no different. Just that s/he has a sister and this is how their family works.

I would actually be a little worried about the whole 'unfair on her child to see his dad be a father to a different family' thing. He has a daughter. That's not going to change. He will always be a father to her.

Fair enough if she said that she feels jealous and doesn't want him to spend time socialising with you. But that's not what she said. and I think her choice of words said more than she intended it to.

Poppet48 Wed 27-Mar-13 13:44:12

'He will be seeing his Dad be a father to a different family' Yes? She needs to get over that as she was fully aware this was going to happen, He does have another child. However, The stopping the cinema trips, Meals etc I can understand so I do see her point with that one.

It's up to your Ex how he handles the situation but if he chooses just to be a Dad to his DS and stop the 'family things' then sorry OP but there's not much you can do.

Poppet48 Wed 27-Mar-13 13:45:04

Sorry be a Dad to your DD*

fairylightsinthesnow Wed 27-Mar-13 13:58:46

I don't really see why the family trips have to stop. If you and your ex are mature and amicable enough to do them, and he wants to continue, then they should and actually are not really any business of the new partner, regardless of her pregnancy. When the baby is born he will obviously have to split his time carefully but it will be important to your DD that new brother does not = loss of daddy. In an ideal scenario, the new partner will come to be amenable to the idea that perhaps you could all do things together, especially when her little one is old enough to enjoy outings. Other than being threatened by the idea that you may somehow "steal" him away, there is really no reason that this should not happen. she knowing got involved with someone who has a child and she is BU to expect him to now somehow drop that child to make way for hers.

KellyElly Wed 27-Mar-13 14:03:28

she knowing got involved with someone who has a child and she is BU to expect him to now somehow drop that child to make way for hers. I don't think she wants him to drop the child, just the quite intimate relationship with the OP. I think it's good for couples to be amicable once they have split when a child is involved and things like birthdays, school plays etc should be done as a family. It's a lot to expect a new partner to be ok with meals and trips to the cinema together though. It's bound to cause insecurity on her behalf. The child should be part of the 'new' family but not the ex.

YesIamYourSisterInLaw Wed 27-Mar-13 14:04:55

She's being a bitch, you have been broken up for 4 years and (presumably) nothing has happened between you since.
She knew you were friends and he had a daughter when she met him its unfair to say its fine then change her mind down the road.
Why should your dd have to give up something she is now used to and why is it ok that she will inevitably loose time with her dad when the new baby arrives but her baby can't possibly make any sacrifices at all ever. Lets face it this isn't about the baby but rather about her feeling paranoid and insecure.

Went off on a bit of a rant there sorry blush

YesIamYourSisterInLaw Wed 27-Mar-13 14:07:24

Lets just hope karma doesn't bite her in the ass and if they ever split a future partner doesn't impose similar terms about her and her baby.

YesIamYourSisterInLaw Wed 27-Mar-13 14:09:54

But Kelly op has invited her along to these things before she was even pregnant.
I don't see why just because things aren't the norm they can't be tried and worked on. The old way isn't always the best way and if it was things wouldn't ever change

sparkle12mar08 Wed 27-Mar-13 14:10:23

Not unreasonable to want to co-parent effectively, but unreasonable to want to just hang out as mates, if that is what sometimeas happens. You're not his mate, you're his ex partner & lover and the mother of his child. She can sling her hook if she wants to stop him joint parenting though.

Davsmum Wed 27-Mar-13 14:11:21

I thinks its ok for her to object to him spending time with you - but certainly not with your DD
Your DD needs to be included with his new family at times and his new child needs to know he has a half sibling.
He can stop being your partner but he cannot stop being your DDs dad.

It would be nice if his girlfriend joined you all for outings but its also ok for her to not want to!

mummabug Wed 27-Mar-13 14:15:32

It seems a bit out of the ordinary for split parents of a child to spend 'family time' together - you're not technically a family, surely?

His family, really, is his new girlfriend, and his children - your DD and his new DS. I've never heard of split parents taking their child out together while one of their new partners sits at home, seems inappropriate (although obviously nice for your DD) IMO if one of you has a partner, especially a pregnant one.

Yes, new partner knew he already had DD when she got involved, but I do not think she is being unfair in expecting his relationship with his DD to not include intimate family dates with the mother as well. It will be confusing for the new child, and DD, with the father acting in this role with two separate women and children?

apatchylass Wed 27-Mar-13 14:15:36

I'm puzzled. how come new girlfriend gets to dictate how much access your DD has to her father. he already has a family: his DD and you. It may not be a conventional one but it's not one that can get sidelined. I'd get tough, for your DD's sake but also your own. As your DD gets older you are going to want to make lots of decisions together about her future, as parents, and it will be healthier for these to be done in the context of a close friendship.

the new girlfriend has to join in the existing family or allow it to continue as it is and fit around it. She can't veto it. it exists.

EasterHoliday Wed 27-Mar-13 14:16:04

you see I see the clue in how you've expressed this - "doing things as a family". You're not a family, you've split up, and your DD effectively has two families. Not unreasonable to get together for DD's birthdays / school events etc but what if you fancy a day at Legoland - does ExH bring his new child and OW misses out? or does new child miss out? or are you really expecting to all go together like a big happy Mormon family? that's not really reasonable.

Viviennemary Wed 27-Mar-13 14:19:40

If you mean doing things as a family means you and your ex and dd all do fun things together well his new partner is right not to be happy with this. Most people wouldn't be. Because his partner is his family now. And your DD is his family but sadly not you. This must be really difficult to come to terms with and I sympathise. But if people decide to split up they must move on. That's my opinion.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 27-Mar-13 14:21:38

Yanbu.

I had a very similar situation, but thankfully for us, my ex refused to bow to his girlfriends demands that he never spends any time with me our our children, and she just has to put up with it. She doesn't like it, but my DH has no problem with it.

If this woman doesn't like the arrangements that her boyfrinds has with his first child, she should have split up with him, or refused to have a baby with him. She is very very selfish to try and dictate that things should change just because she's pregnant.

fairylightsinthesnow Wed 27-Mar-13 14:23:28

but nobody needs to miss out on anything if the new wife would consider going along on things all together. I think the OP IS in a family with the ex and her DD, its her DD's family! Its so rare that ex partners can get on this well I think its a great opportunity to model what a mature approach to this kind of thing could be and could potentially be a hugely beneficial thing for the future. What about xmas? If this can be sorted out, both children can have their dad around for the whole of Christmas day rather than alternating or splitting the day. I'd LOVE to see this work out, but the new wife needs to feel 100% secure and that is the ex's job to reassure her.

TheSecondComing Wed 27-Mar-13 14:24:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Myinboxisfull Wed 27-Mar-13 14:27:25

Yabu in seeing yourself as part of ex dp's family. Your dd, his new dp and their stb baby are his family.

It's very good that you are able to get on so well with your ex dp and, I'm sure, a benefit to your dd. His new dp should not be dictating how much time he spends with his dd but, it's not unreasonable for her to be having an opinion on him having what you call 'family time' with you.

Btw, have you got a new partner and how do they feel about this arrangement?

MimiSunshine Wed 27-Mar-13 14:42:20

So what is the GF proposing? DDs dad only sees her on set visiting hours each week?
Unfortunately for her your ex is already a father in another family, thankfully a functioning and happy one if not quite the typical 2:4 set up. It sounds like she wants her child and family to be the 'proper' one and I agree with other posters that her choice of words is very telling and this set up and family already exists. Maybe the first family outings will have to reduce once second family has a new baby in it but I don't see why it has to stop.

Her son won't know any different but your daughter will that is where this would be unfair. Therefore I think this is what you put to your ex, don't tell him what to do, just calmly point out that you're happy for the status quo to continue and for the GF and baby to be included, he'll occasionally you may even offer to babysit for them wink but if he wants to change things then he will have to explain why to DD.

complexnumber Wed 27-Mar-13 15:00:56

What if we do the usual swap scenario

So a poster worries that her new DP is being contacted by his ex, and feels threatened by her presence.

It's a tough one, but maintaining parental contact surely is of paramount concern for DD

mummabug Wed 27-Mar-13 15:19:08

Friendly parental contact, phone calls, cups of tea at handover's, helping each other out (i.e if you need a lightbulb changing etc!?), and both parents being at school events, competitions etc (where the father's and DD's family i.e; girlfriend and DS are invited too) completely healthy and okay.

'hanging out', cinema, restaurants, having him over for dinner...without his partner present - not okay. Inappropriate - you are not part of his family unit, your DD is. I would like to meet the woman who would accept this as his partner and mother of another of his children. Okay, so the girlfriend has been told she can be present too, but why would she want to come to these intimate family dates? It is uncomfortable. She will be spending 'family' time with your DD when your ex is with her and your DD's brother - which is as it should be.

YABU to want to 'hang out with your ex' and YABVU to refer to these dates as doing things 'together as a family'. I can't see him ever being able to have a successful relationship with a new girlfriend if you and he actually see you, him and your DD as a 'family'.

Sandie79 Wed 27-Mar-13 15:32:57

What is your dd's relationship with her new step mum? Have you encouraged that to develop? I don't think you're being unreasonable and I think it would be a shame to lose the relationship you have but I think sadly once your dd is fully included, the push to spend additional time together, esp if it includes you, will have to come from your ex.

I have a friend whose parents split when she was seven, and after a rough few years, became quite amicable. They would make all parenting decisions together, etc. He had a new partner, and a new child, as did her mother, and all went well until about 15 years later when her dad and stepmum split up. They now both have new partners, and my friends reaction to her stepmum getting into a new relationship was 'I guess my family is getting even bigger.' At her wedding, her mum and dad, their new partners, and her (former?) stepmum and her new partner all attended. Its amazing how they have done it but the children of that relationship and their subsequent relationships all grew up knowing they were loved...but its very unusual, and if you want to maintain the relationship you have it will be essential to get your ex's new partner on side, and there's only so much you can do their if he is unwilling to push it with her.

Helltotheno Wed 27-Mar-13 15:36:26

YANBU OP, it wouldn't bother me in the slightest if I were your DH's GF. You have a 'friends' relationship with the father of your child and she is effectively trying to end your friends relationship. Anyone who wanted me to ditch my friends, even exes, could take a hike tbh. She sounds v insecure.

Saying that, your use of the word 'family' is probably ill-advised because strictly speaking, you're co-parents to your DD but not a family. Not much you can do really because it's down to your ex as to how things proceed.

Sorry if I missed this but are you in a relationship OP?

HidingNemo Wed 27-Mar-13 15:46:14

Hi sorry for not responding sooner. I've read all of the replies ... I think.

The friendship between us is a very mutual thing - when he lost his job he moved in with us temporarily until he found a new one. I was there to support him when his mum was really ill (thankfully she is so much better now) - and he has been there for me through some challenges.

We've known each other many years (met in Secondary School) and both consider the other to be good friends.

When I say hang out, I mean he will pick DD up from school and I will cook dinner and he will stay and have dinner with us, or if I'm dropping her off at his then he'll ask me in for coffee and we'll chat. This is usually 3 times a week we do this.

Other outings such as like I said meals out/cinema etc are once every 3 weeks or so.

We've both dated other people, most we haven't introduced to DD. But when he told me when he was getting more serious with gf I was genuinely happy for him.

DD told me that she liked her which I encouraged - such as helping her write a Christmas card to both of them.

When we were going to the cinema (before gf was pregnant) I saw ex a couple of days before and said gf is more than welcome to come with us. She said no, so I've never pushed it.

I don't consider us to be a family, but we are DD's family and I thought it was lovely that she could grow up and see that her parents get on so well and very soon she will be too old to want to go out with her parents so it was nice to do it now.

HidingNemo Wed 27-Mar-13 15:48:51

This comment stood out to me -

So a poster worries that her new DP is being contacted by his ex, and feels threatened by her presence.

DP being contacted by his ex? ... You make it sound as if I am harassing him. Constantly calling and texting him, which could not be further from the truth.

Since they got together I have limited my contact with him and will only text him when it is to do with DD.

His gf has only met me a handful of times as she will make sure she is not in the room when I go there to pick up DD.

HidingNemo Wed 27-Mar-13 15:51:17

Saying that, your use of the word 'family' is probably ill-advised because strictly speaking, you're co-parents to your DD but not a family

I just used the word "family" then because we are DD's family and to show that we do things together for this reason.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 27-Mar-13 15:51:32

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.

The new GFs way of thinking seems totally twisted to me, if the above is really what she is thinking.

It doesn't make sense that it would be unfair to her child because he will be seeing his Dad be Dad to a different family. Surely her having a child is doing to your dd the very thing that she wants to avoid for her own child?

That's just pure selfish.

Cavort Wed 27-Mar-13 16:02:04

I wholeheartedly agree with mummabug.

I have a DSD who stays with us regularly and is very much a part of our family. The relationship between my DH and his DD's Mum is amicable and friendly to the point where they talk regularly about their DD's welfare on the phone and during handovers and they attend school open evenings together but that's where it ends. Anything more than that would be inappropriate and all parties involved acknowledge that, including their DD.

fluffyraggies Wed 27-Mar-13 16:16:07

I think it is good that you are really good terms with your DDs father.

I do however think that there is a fine line between co parenting and socialising.

While there is no partner to consider then it is up to you and your ex to do as you please. I can see the point of view of his GF though. It should be a case of your DD being absorbed into their family for her time with her dad - not the GF being absorbed into you and your ex's friendship as a 'second mother'.

I think the GF has worded it clumsily. It doesn't sound like she wants your ex to cut down the amount of time he spends with his DD. Rather that she is trying to say she wants him to spend his time with his DD and her.

I know the dynamics are different, and will be different again when their child is born - but thinking of it from her point of view as things are - you probably wouldn't expect to tag along with them and their child if your DD wasn't there - and yet you feel she should want to accompany you and he on outings now as ... what ... a hanger on? It's just a bit odd.

Even once her baby is born i still don't think it would be a normal set up. I don't know anyone who goes on outings with their DP, the DPs their ex and all the kids.

I think you need to let him go. I think he needs to let go.

StanleyLambchop Wed 27-Mar-13 16:26:45

When I say hang out, I mean he will pick DD up from school and I will cook dinner and he will stay and have dinner with us,

I can kind of see why she would not want that to continue after the baby is born, does he intend spending his evenings having dinner at yours whilst she is home alone with a small baby? I can see her point about things needing to change once the baby arrives, she will need support from him, and he can't provide that if he is socialising with his ex. I don't believe from what you say that she wants him to give up his time with DD, just his time with you, his ex.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 27-Mar-13 16:31:09

She is being wholly unreasonable....the girlfriend doesn't want her son to see his dad doing family things with another family but he HAS another family. He has a son...and an ex who is the Mother...that IS family.

OP stand your ground. Protect your DS's life as it is.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 27-Mar-13 16:32:21

Stanley...see I disagree. The girlfriend does not get ALL his time to spend with her and the baby....because whoops...he has a son with another Mother whom he happens to have a good relationship with.

this is a blessing...not a problem.

Viviennemary Wed 27-Mar-13 16:33:42

I think YABVVVU I'm afraid OP. Because I certainly wouldn't want to be part of this menage a trois. You and your Ex still seem to be very much a couple. I fee sorry for the poor girlfriend coming into this situation. She seems very much the outsider.

StanleyLambchop Wed 27-Mar-13 16:36:34

But Zombie she is not asking for all his time either, nor does she seem to be saying that the DD be suddenly cut out of his life. If you look at it another way- someone posted on here saying that they were alone with a new born baby because their partner had gone out to dinner with an old friend- would the general consensus not be that a partner should priority over a friend?

DeskPlanner Wed 27-Mar-13 16:37:51

I think you are unreasonable. The idea of a day trip including you, Dd, your ex, his gf and new baby, is unusual. I would find it strange if I was the gf.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 27-Mar-13 16:39:55

Lambchop but it's NOT an old friend it is the Mother of his child....and of course..HIS CHILD>

RafflesWay Wed 27-Mar-13 16:40:15

I agree with mumma here and op I honestly feel you need to move on too.
However, I totally applaud the excellent relationships you have kept and built for your dd's sake with all involved but now is the time to take a step back with regards to your own attendance on these trips. You need to find a life of your own whilst dd spends quality time with her father and his new family although I can well understand it may prove a little painful initially.

StanleyLambchop Wed 27-Mar-13 16:44:00

But the GF will also be the mother of his child!! He has chosen to be with her -his active relationship with the OP is over, they are now simply parents to a child, but not boyfriend/girlfriend themselves. OP you need to move on and let him go.

YesIamYourSisterInLaw Wed 27-Mar-13 16:44:42

Why do they need to "move on"?
The most important thing is that this is nice for the children, not everything has to be sexual or intimate people can be just friends.
They could all be friends if the new gf would allow it. It feels to me like she is using the baby as an excuse because she's never liked the set up but knew she didn't have a leg to stand on before

YesIamYourSisterInLaw Wed 27-Mar-13 16:46:51

I'm actually finding the move on comments really annoying and I'm not even the op.
why is everyone making out like the op is some needy woman wanting him back? They have been apart 4 years, if they wanted to be together they would have done it by now

What a pity she absents herself from changeover times etc. It sounds rather as if she's decided not to like you without even meeting you.

I think the thing is to tell ex that you don't want dd to miss out & leave it to him to sort out how he ensures that doesn't happen. If he cuts contact with you & dd is upset by that then you can tell him (or she will).

Has he indicated how he feels about it?

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Wed 27-Mar-13 16:56:22

Well, I would be pretty narked if my OH went off with his ex and their daughter on a "family day out."

My reasons for this are that he and his ex have both moved on. Not from their daughter, but from each other. They are in seperate families now. She has a new partner and a new baby, and we have each other and two children together. I highly doubt her new partner would be supportive if they went off as a little family a few days a week.

They were a family until they decided to split. Not my problem, or ex's new partner's problem.

ProphetOfDoom Wed 27-Mar-13 17:03:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fluffyraggies Wed 27-Mar-13 17:04:00

I think a delicate situation like this is really hard to call an opinion on without hearing it from all sides.

The GF is pregnant now. It's no good saying she's being unreasonable to get in this situation, etc etc., she's in it - up to her eye balls!

She does sound insecure about the relationship with her DP and the OP. But we don't know how the bloke conducts himself around her regarding this relationship.

Has he sensed her insecurity and tried to help by becoming a bit vague about the time he spends with the OP? Is she interpreting this as secretive behaviour? Is it the opposite and does he talk about their outings allot and she is hormonal and struggling with it?

I agree that she shouldn't be 'hiding' from the OP at handover times. I wonderif there is a big age difference or something - is she very young maybe?

fluffyraggies Wed 27-Mar-13 17:11:10

Also i disagree that he is a father to two families.

The DD is a daughter to two families.
One of them is her father's.
The other is her mother's.

He is a father to both his DD and the baby on the way.
He only has one family unit though - and that is the one with the GF, into which the DD will be welcome.

It's a subtle difference - but it's an important one.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Wed 27-Mar-13 17:17:27

fluffyraggies said it perfectly.

Losingexcessweight Wed 27-Mar-13 17:17:48

I agree with the new gf I'm afraid.

It's very unusual to be acting as a family with your ex partner. I wouldn't like it if I was the new gf.

I think what the new gf is saying about now she's pregnant she wants this to stop etc, what she means is:

'Im pregnant, therefore our relationship has gone to a deeper level therefore I'm more of a priority than spending time with your ex.

Without meaning to sound harsh, but I think your enjoying the fact that you're causing problems between them, and that he seems to be prioritising you at the moment over her.

Fleecyslippers Wed 27-Mar-13 17:19:17

YANBU. She sounds immature and paranoid. It never ceases to amaze me what demands people make. You and your Ex sound as if you have a really healthy approach to parenting your child. Don't let her petulance and insecurities spoil that for your daughters sake.

ProphetOfDoom Wed 27-Mar-13 17:21:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EuphemiaLennox Wed 27-Mar-13 17:24:11

I think your set up sounds great and really healthy.

Why can't a couple who split up become friends, even good friends?? Why does it have to be this only co parenting thing and nothing else??
You can be a co parent and a friend. Surely?

I can however understand a new gf finding this difficult or threatening as it is unusual.

It is up to your ex to reassure her and ultimately decide how he wants this to play out and how he foresees the future families working. He has to work that out with her. Hopefully for you, he can help her to feel relaxed and happy that you can all be friendly and close.

Maybe if/when you have a partner of your own, she may feel more reassured that this is a healthy friendship and nothing more??

Also I think seeing yourself as his family is great. You're not his girlfriend, wife, lover, partner, whatever, but you are the mother of his child and certainly to your dd you're a family.

Who gets to define family??

StanleyLambchop Wed 27-Mar-13 17:31:02

I'm actually finding the move on comments really annoying and I'm not even the op.

The Op posted on AIBU, presumably to get a range of opinions. I am sure she can take it if not everyone agrees with her. We are all entitled to post our opinions.

Myinboxisfull Wed 27-Mar-13 17:33:00

You haven't answered my question op, do you have a new partner and how does he feel about the current arrangements?

You've said that you ex dp visits your house for dinner 3 times a week, that's nearly half his evenings each week. Does your dd not spend any time with him in his own home without you being present?

Like I said, positive relationships between you and ex dp are a very good thing but I think that you are going to need to adjust your expectations of his role in your life now that he has a new partner and an additional child. I don't see why this should mean that your dd should see less do her father, rather that you will not be present for so much /all of it.

HidingNemo Wed 27-Mar-13 18:02:14

OP you need to move on and let him go

I'm sorry but you're making it sound as if I'm some crazy ex-girlfriend who wants him back.

When in reality we both came to the decision to split and have both had other partners since.

He is always going to be a part of my life through my DD until she is at least 18.

HidingNemo Wed 27-Mar-13 18:04:08

You've said that you ex dp visits your house for dinner 3 times a week

No I didn't say that.

I said he comes over for dinner or when I'm at his we'll have a coffee together - dinner once - coffee twice.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 27-Mar-13 18:14:27

I think it's really sad that so many people see the OPs relationship with her ex as something that shouldn't be happening.

The fact that its unusual doesn't make it wrong. They are working together to be good parents to the same child. The fact that they have a friendship as well is a lovely thing for their child to see.

I get on brilliantly with my ex, I get told all the time that its a good thing when people see us together, especially when my DH is there as well. If my DH can act like an adult about the fact that I have a good relationship with my ex, I don't see why anyone else can't.

The GF is in the situation she's in yes, so it doesn't do much good now to say that she should have thought about it before she got pregnant, but she does have to live with the consequences of the situation she helped create. I don't suppose it's what she wanted for her pregnancy and family, but she this is the position she has put herself in and she has to live with it as it is. She does not have any say at all over the relationship her BF has with his other co parent.

I get on well with exdh and often hang out with his wife. However, if my partner, or if she, were unhappy with the situation the I would cut back contact immediately. The children and the new partner are the priority.

Having said that the girlfriends comment was weird but I wonder if that's been reported back correctly.

ruledbyheart Wed 27-Mar-13 18:23:25

I co parent with my STBXH and he regularly is at my house to spend time with his DCs as he doesn't have anywhere suitable to have them plus we enjoy all enjoy each others company, Im pregnant with DC4 with my new partner of two years, he knew the score when he came onto the scene and wouldn't dream of changing it to suit himself.
The idea of STBXH having a new partner who would stop him spending time with his DCs at mine is worrying as its worked for so long so I know how you feel OP.

However your exs new partner knew the score when they got together so its unfairof her to want to change it now.

HidingNemo Wed 27-Mar-13 18:28:39

The children and the new partner are the priority

Really? I know I'm not a priority but he still has a daughter.

Why should one child take precedence over the other?

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Wed 27-Mar-13 18:34:37

Why should one child take precedence over the other

Well exactly. He'll have 2 children and not 1 anymore.

One child won't have priority - or are you saying he can't see his daughter unless you're there?

CloudsAndTrees Wed 27-Mar-13 18:41:09

But one child does end up the priority in these situations because one child gets the pleasure of enjoying things with both of their parents, and the other doesn't have that.

It's always sad when children don't get to enjoy things with the two people that matter the most in the world to them at the same time, but it's even worse when the child could have that but is denied it because of the insecurities of a new girlfriend.

HidingNemo Wed 27-Mar-13 18:44:32

or are you saying he can't see his daughter unless you're there?

I've never said or done that EVER.

That's a truly horrible thing to suggest.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Wed 27-Mar-13 18:44:33

But that is what happens in separated families though. It's a huge reality. A lot of children have to live with that reality. What about their family unit, which does include your dd? What about when they want to go on family days out together instead of him seeing you? Or go on family holidays together? It's also your dd's ailing they are having.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Wed 27-Mar-13 18:45:49

*sibling

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Wed 27-Mar-13 18:47:49

And their new baby isn't a priority just because the baby's parents are still together.

worley Wed 27-Mar-13 18:49:11

I'm having almost same situation.. ex dp has regularly spent time with the dc and me. all together as family time. he house shared for 4 years with two others and not suitable to take children to his. he stayed here overnight (on settee) so I could go out and stay at friends over night. now he's moved into a new flat with his new gf (who he was previously house shared with until they got together) he now sees the dc twice a week for two hours at a time before he has to go. he's not allowed to stay over and the children have no where to stay at hers. she knew our situation before and now she's insisting on him stopping this.

So no OP, I don't think your being unreasonable at all.. she knew score and now wants to change things. it's the dc that it all affects. (I've had bf who were fine with this arrangement.. they had their own dc and acknowledged this was how things were to enable the dc to see their dad..

But then why are you suggesting the new child will get priority? The new family will - but why won't he continue being an involved dad?

CloudsAndTrees Wed 27-Mar-13 18:50:30

It's what happens when the parents fall out, but it doesn't have to be what happens. It has worked well for them so far. I expect it would continue to work well if there wasn't someone else who didn't like it.

But it's not up to that someone else to dictate how two parents choose to be around their child.

Is it that she is suggesting he sees his child less? That would be unreasonable.

HidingNemo Wed 27-Mar-13 18:51:49

I have never stopped the three of them having time just them three. They can have days out and family holidays.

I have never once suggested that they can't.

Me and DD even picked out a present to give to them when I found out she was pregnant.

You are trying to paint me as a monster. Someone who will only let my ex see his daughter when she is with me, blackmail him into seeing me and then trying to wreck their family.

cjel Wed 27-Mar-13 18:55:38

YADNBU. I also think that I'd be concerned for Xp if he was having a baby with the girlfriend and NOW she is telling him what he can and can't do. I would have thought if she didn't like it she should have made sure XP wanted sooner. His DS has relationships sorted in her life and it seems a bit drastic to make these changes which might affect DD at a time when she is going to have to share him with a baby who will live with him full time. Having said that I can understand new gf wanted to try to create ideal family unit for her DC. I don't know how much I'd challenge it though.

I don't see you as a monster! I would have loved you as my partners ex - really!
I'm just suggesting backing off just a little - cutting back on the days out and cinema trips - while she is pregnant and hormonal - she might come round - but if not the important thing is the respect you have for each other. Your dd needn't suffer from the change.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Wed 27-Mar-13 18:57:14

No, there are a lot of amicable parents out there who don't do everything the OP does with her ex. Just saying.

My OH and his ex are very amicable and get on brilliantly. I get on with her too and have a chit chat when I see her. But I think they'd both throw their heads back and laugh if I said why don't you go out together with your daughter as a family? My OH would be inclined to take his "new" children with him too if he ever did.

Myinboxisfull Wed 27-Mar-13 18:57:52

It might be worth thinking about the fact that family dynamics change when a sibling is born even when both parents are still together. Even in these more straightforward situations there is less time for a parent to spend with each child on their own.

HidingNemo Wed 27-Mar-13 19:00:27

But I think they'd both throw their heads back and laugh if I said why don't you go out together with your daughter as a family?

And? Just because they would react like that it doesn't make it right or wrong.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Wed 27-Mar-13 19:01:15

Each to their own then I guess.

Myinboxisfull Wed 27-Mar-13 19:02:43

I've just read your original post and I think that yes, you are losing a friend and that men often stop being friends with other women when they settle down. But this doesn't mean that you can't have a good co-parenting relationship with him. I does sound like you are being sidelined a bit now but that doesn't mean that your dd needs to be.

HidingNemo Wed 27-Mar-13 19:04:28

I'm just suggesting backing off just a little

Back off?

I'm not hammering at their door, showing up at places I know they'll be, ringing him etc.

It's a very mutual thing. Sometimes he will text me and say I'm taking DD to see this film on Thursday night if you'd like to come along too?

Or sometimes I will do that with him.

It's not just me.

We carried on doing this when they started dating and she has only said she has a problem with it since she got pregnant.

But this girlfriend doesn't like it sad and as his partner she does have precedence over you. I can tell how gutting this is for you tho- I'm sorry- it IS a shame for you that he's chosen someone less easy going but that's how it goes.

MimiSunshine Wed 27-Mar-13 19:05:55

Ultimately though, it doesn't matter if anyone else thinks its weird. And unusual doesn't mean wrong BTW.
It's what the OP and DDs dad thinks and how they decide to co-parent. The GF can have an opinion but she doesn't get to decide, unfortunately she can like it or lump it because 1 meal and the odd couple of coffees doesn't really seem that overly excessive and everything would be a lot easier if she just got on board with it.

It's not about being 'one big happy Mormon family' it's about getting on and not trying to re-write history to suit your own insecure needs. Which us what she sounds like to me, I mean for gods sake, hiding away when OP drops DD off just sounds like the GF wants there to be a problem

Myinboxisfull Wed 27-Mar-13 19:06:12

I've asked you twice now whether you have a new partner and you haven't answered and so I'm assuming that you're still single. Do you intend continuing your relationship with your ex dp in exactly the same form when you a living with a new partner or is it feasible that you might want to do some things differently?

But he isn't just an ex.
He's also a friend.

I see a lot of threads on here all of the time about friends of the opposite sex and people remaining friends with their ex, so i really can't see why people are jumping over the OP and saying that her friendship with her ex is inappropriate?

Myinboxisfull Wed 27-Mar-13 19:08:11

Also, new partner may well be feeling more vulnerable right now that she's pregnant. She may feel a bit more secure when she's had the baby.

HidingNemo Wed 27-Mar-13 19:08:42

Sorry inbox didn't realise, I also didn't realise that I was required to answer to you.

Yes I am single. Since the start of March I came out of a 7 month relationship.

Things stayed the same. My partner (now ex) did not have a problem with this.

spottyparrot Wed 27-Mar-13 19:09:14

I think YABU, sorry.

You are your DD's family. He is also your DD's family. But the three of you are no longer a family. The things that you are doing as a three - a dinner at home, a cinema outing/whatever appear to be "family" stuff to me. I can see why the new gf would feel uncomfortable with her DP going to (excuse the expression, can't think of anything else) "play happy families" with his childhood sweetheart and their daughter. This stuff would all be fine if neither of you were in new relationships, but he is now in a serious relationship and his primary concern adult relationship wise must be his pregnant partner. Regarding his children, clearly the new baby will live with him so his involvement with the baby is not an issue. Re the DD you have together, she will have 2 homes - one with you and one with him and his new family. It would be nice for your DD if you, him, the new gf and the new baby were able to spent time together, all 5 of you but that does rely on consent from all 3 of the adults and if new gf won't give it, there is unfortunately nothing to be done about it. You both agreed to split up so in doing so, you have to accept that there is now a 3rd adult in the mix. You say that he will always be part of your life, yes you are correct even when your DD is grown up there will be things like weddings, graduations etc. However, you should not be his main friend/confidante etc - that's the position his partner has now and you will have to respect their wishes as a couple, however those wishes have come about (ie they may be hers) and whatever the balance of power within that couple (perhaps her imposing her views and him going along with it) - even if you do not think it is right or fair.

Myinboxisfull Wed 27-Mar-13 19:09:27

X posts

TobyLerone Wed 27-Mar-13 19:12:01

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.

But his dad is a father to a different family. She doesn't get to choose that.

Myinboxisfull Wed 27-Mar-13 19:12:28

I can see that it's all quite difficult T the moment but am sure things will settle down and you will all find a new, slightly different arrangement that everyone is comfortable with.

HidingNemo Wed 27-Mar-13 19:12:45

Thanks Peppa

We've actually be friends since secondary school when we were sat together in Maths in Year 8.

Both went to different unis but both were in London and lived together second and third year (with other people)

And then went traveling together for a year afterwards then became a couple.

I am now 28. So we have known each other 15 years. So yes I feel sad to lose a friend - I'm unsure if that makes me selfish or not.

Myinboxisfull Wed 27-Mar-13 19:13:43

I don't see it to be a problem seeing a man accept his responsibilities towards a child from a previous relationship. A good thing I'd have thought.

sunshine401 Wed 27-Mar-13 19:13:49

She wants to start her family journey. Your child will still have mum and dad but you have to be separate families.
When your child spends time with dad it will be spending time with dad and family.
Does not mean you cannot spend family time with your child alone.

I can understand her view point. Not many dads with other families still go out on day trips with Ex in tow.

ComeOnBeANoOne Wed 27-Mar-13 19:14:42

I think she is the unreasonable one. It is mainly up to your ex to sit down with her and re-iterate the situation to her, that it is beneficial to your DD to still have her family.

I can understand where she is coming from, but at the end of the day she was offered the chance to be part of these activities which was very reasonable of you to invite her to be part of the family group. Me and my ex are in a very similar situation and I wouldn't let any new partners affect our DD's family time. Adults are supposedly mature enough to adapt to these situations, it would potentially upset your DD. Hope everything works out!

CloudsAndTrees Wed 27-Mar-13 19:16:34

Spotty, I find your way of looking at it very odd.

It does not require the consent of three adults for two parents to spend time together. It requires the consent of the two adults directly involved. The third adult has come into a situation where she either gets to accept the situation as it is, or she gets to walk away.

If the father in this situation wants things to change, then that is a different story. But if he wants things to remain the same and OP wants thing to remain the same, then there is no reason why things shouldn't remain the same.

Splitting up with a partner does not automatically mean another adult gets to come along and start changing things.

The new girlfriend sounds like she is a man trap to me.

Myinboxisfull Wed 27-Mar-13 19:17:01

It's understandable that you feel the loss of the close friendship that you both had but ex dp's primary relationship is with someone else now. That doesn't detract from his relationship with his dd though.

HidingNemo Wed 27-Mar-13 19:17:10

I can see why the new gf would feel uncomfortable with her DP going to (excuse the expression, can't think of anything else) "play happy families" with his childhood sweetheart and their daughter

Yes to be honest I can too. BUT ... she knew it was like that from the start.

I have tried so hard to be nice to her. One of the reasons I wanted her to come out with us was so that DD could see for herself that we can all get along (I think sometimes a child has a natural reaction to dislike the new partner).

I also wanted her to see there was nothing between romantic between us anymore.

I always encourage DD to be nice to her and I'm very happy that she seems to really like her.

StanleyLambchop Wed 27-Mar-13 19:21:15

She does not have any say at all over the relationship her BF has with his other co parent.

No, but it is the ex who decides how much time he wants to spend with the OP. As his new GF is having his baby and he is living with her, I imagine that ultimately he will cut back the socialising with OP and just concentrate on his relationship with hid DD.

I can imagine that that will be hard for you OP, but while the relationship you have with your ex works well for him, you and your DD, the GF is saying loud & clear that it does not work for her, and I think she is entitled to have her views taken into account aswell. But it is for the ex to decide.

Myinboxisfull Wed 27-Mar-13 19:23:09

I know that some posters are saying that everything should stay the same and that the new partner should either accept it or leave but it really isn't that simple and things are changing in any case with the birth of another child (a sibling for your dd) and so I do think that some flexibility is going to be needed from both sides.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 27-Mar-13 19:23:35

I don't think you're selfish, OP. I think though that you might have to modify what you're doing and the involvement your ex has with you (not his daughter).

I think that coffees at your house when picking DD up/dropping her off are fine, ditto one dinner every three weeks. All of this is fine.

What's probably causing friction is the day trips, cinema and so on. You don't need to go on those and, if you have sensibilities yourself (and it seems that you do), you'll understand that there's a line and these activities cross or blur it. I wouldn't do them.

Who knows, when the baby is born, the fact that you've stopped these activities and shown empathy with the girlfiend might be all she needs to see that your good relationship with the ex is a marvellous thing - it is.

Tread softly... you're not wrong but diplomacy is everything here and ultimately, anything that makes life run smoother is so worth it.

HidingNemo Wed 27-Mar-13 19:26:18

saying that everything should stay the same and that the new partner should either accept it or leave but it really isn't that simple

Really? Those replies are in the minority by far.

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.

madonnawhore Wed 27-Mar-13 19:31:03

I'm in a similarish situation to the GF's position.

DP has a DD with his ex. Although he and the ex aren't close at all, DP is still very friendly with his ex's father. They socialise together quite a lot.

DP's told me that his ex's parents are really keen to meet me and want to invite me along to family events, etc.

While this is all very nice, I am extremely uncomfortable with the idea (as is DP to be fair) and I feel it over steps the new boundaries that our relationship has drawn up.

I can completely see the GF's point of view. She's trying to establish her own family unit with her DP, OP's DD and their new baby. Having him buggering off to his 'other family' for dinner every other week just isn't on as far as I'm concerned.

This new baby means that whatever cosy set up you've enjoyed before needs to change. She is your ex's long term partner and soon to be mother of your DD's sibling. She deserves to have a say in creating a situation that she's comfortable with too. And that might mean no more cosy family stuff for you and the ex. Sorry.

Myinboxisfull Wed 27-Mar-13 19:31:43

So what do you think you're going to do, op?

riverboat Wed 27-Mar-13 19:32:30

I think, mostly that it's the new girlfriend being unreasonable.

I don't think there should be any problem with you and the ex remaining friends, and doing things together sometimes with your DC. If she is seriously saying this can never happen because of the new child your ex is about to have, I think she is being very unreasonable.

However, the frequency and amount of contact you describe could be an issue.

DP stayed friends with his ex, they split up when their DS was 1. I came on the scene three years later, and was made to feel very welcome by DP's ex. We all get together (DP, me, DSS, ex, her partner, their child together, ex's stepchild from her DP, ex's mother, ex's stepfather - it's very 'blended'!) about once every couple of months for a BBQ, a dinner, a trip somewhere etc. We always have a little Christmas party together, though our actual Christmases are separate, and we always have a big birthday party altogether for DSS.

I actually have a great relationship with the ex, I really love her and her DP's daughter, and weirdly I have developed what is to me quite a special and important relationship with ex's mother. I love being part of a big blended family like this - for my own sake, as well as DSS's!

However. All that said, we get together about once every couple of months. Obviously DP sees them more frequently than that because he always does pick-ups. He might stay for a quick drink, but not more than 30m. What you seem to be describing (if I have understood) is that about 3 times a week your ex is spending a significant chunk of his evening with you and your child, either with coffee and chatting or dinner.

As happy as I am that DP is friends with his ex, and am completely non-threatened by their friendship, I would not be happy if he started spending time with her three evenings a week. It would just be too much for me. Partly because his working hours mean that quality time for us to be together during the week is precious, but partly just because...just because. I guess I would feel rejected and somehow isolated.

So I wonder if your ex's girlfriend has made this massive ultimatum because she was pushed a bit too far by the amount and regularity of contact still between you? On the other hand, it seems she's never wanted to get involved with any of it at all, and it's the mere fact of ANY contact rather than the amount that could be the problem. In which case...I think she is being very unreasonable. Maybe you and ex could agree to stop seeing so much of each other during the week, but get her to agree to do one joint trip/dinner or something all together just to test the waters and see how it goes?

Are you still single, by the way? Shouldn't really make a difference, but it probably does to her.

StrawberryMojito Wed 27-Mar-13 19:33:05

It's not your responsibility to sort this out. It's all down to your ex. I can see why you feel down but he needs to either concede to his new partner and take on a more traditional ex role or stand up to her and make her fit in with your friendship.

Rightly or wrongly, I think he should go with the wishes of his current partner.

DisorganisednotDysfunctional Wed 27-Mar-13 19:42:04

I have to say that I'm kinda wondering if you're on such good terms you couldn't stay together in the first place. Then there wouldn't be a new gf or a new family to discuss.

It's so much better for kids to be brought up by both parents living together - if the adults can be civilised - that I can't help wondering why you abandoned the idea? The more that's known about family breakdown the more it's clear how damaging to children it is. Seems they're better off with an intact family even if their parents' relationship is far from ideal. If there's DV or other misery, fair enough, but given the relationship you have now I'm not clear why you split up at all.

cjel Wed 27-Mar-13 19:42:25

I disagree that he should concede with regard to how much he sees his dd. It should be something that they agree together.

Goldrill Wed 27-Mar-13 19:42:26

I haven't read the whole thing but I just wanted to chip in to say that I am very good friends with my long-term ex. I spent a decade of my life with the man and he's lovely - he hasn't stopped being a top bloke just because we don't love each other. My DP (with whom I have two DDs and who I am marrying in a few months) has no issues with XP coming round for tea etc; they have even been known to go mountain biking together. We also had a business and a house in common for a few years after we split, and I do see him less often now these have gone - but that's a lot less important than having a child together who will always appreciate your being close.

OP I think you're being entirely reasonable, and you're making the effort to see things from her PoV which is spot on.

TobyLerone Wed 27-Mar-13 19:49:38

I have to say that I think DisorganisednotDysfunctional is talking bollocks.

riverboat Wed 27-Mar-13 19:50:06

now she is pg she believes that trumps the current set-up. And maybe it does. But that's not what dd is used to. Unless it is handled sensitively then it could affect how dd feels about the gf and the new baby

Schmalzting Matilda, this is a very good point. All three adults are going to have to work together in various combinations to manage any changes carefully, for the sake of DD's future relationship with her new sibling if nothing else.

Fleecyslippers Wed 27-Mar-13 19:50:41

Op don't worry. It is inevitable that on MN as the 'Ex' and mother of his first child, you are expected to put your childs needs way below those of the 'new family' hmm and your feelings are irrelevant. You are a psycho Ex and should know your place woman grin

It's an attitude which I've only seen on MN - in the 'real' world, reasonable and normal attitudes would suggest that your daughters stability and continuity would be particularly important in view of the impending arrival. The new girlfriend has been in her life for less than a year - she's possibly feeling a little bit vulnerable already so way to go to the paranoid one if she wants to damage her relationship with the little girl by refusing to allow things to continue as they are in her life.

And for all the bollocks about you and your Ex not being a family - of course you are a family - you are your DDs family. I can't stand the bloody sight of my ex but the kids still draw pictures of their family as being mummy, daddy, x, y and z. and I still stick them on the fridge. OW and her kid don't even figure hmm

Little Miss Paranoid needs to accept the status quo, and hopefully your Ex will step up and tell her that.

StanleyLambchop Wed 27-Mar-13 19:54:32

Little Miss Paranoid needs to accept the status quo, and hopefully your Ex will step up and tell her that.

I think that disregarding the GF's feelings will not help the ex's relationship with her. Rightly or wrongly, it might turn out to be a deal-breaker for her. Would the ex be prepared to lose his current relationship over this?

riverboat Wed 27-Mar-13 19:57:48

Op don't worry. It is inevitable that on MN as the 'Ex' and mother of his first child, you are expected to put your childs needs way below those of the 'new family' hmm and your feelings are irrelevant. You are a psycho Ex and should know your place woman grin

I don't think this is helpful. There is a lot of anti-stepmother stuff on MN, as much as there is stereotyping of the 'psycho ex'.

I think it's more likely that there are some women, nay people, who are more selfish and badly behaved than others. Some of them are stepmothers, some of them are 'exes', some of them are both, some of them are neither.

All that pitting 'new woman/stepmum' and 'ex/'bio-mum*' against each other as separate camps does is entrench each group further, IMO, and make certain people feel even more justified in their behaviour, seeing any criticism as persecution even when it isn't.

* I'm aware that biomum is a problematic term for some, but am just using it for the sake of clarity

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Wed 27-Mar-13 19:59:24

I love the bitter attitude towards "new families" on MN.

ihearsounds Wed 27-Mar-13 20:13:23

I don't see what the problem is. I don't see how any of it is inappropriate.

At the end of the day, the op and ex household are all a big family. Just not in the conventional sense. As a family, why is it wrong to not spend together. Isn't this what families do?

It's nice the girl sometimes gets to eat with daddy at her house. Why should this stop?

I don't see either how it will be unfair on the newborn. He will get to spend time with his dad as well. A lot more than the dd still. He will get time to spend with his parents together and his sister. If the meals and other things stop then she will loose out.. How exactly is that fair?

HidingNemo Wed 27-Mar-13 20:13:34

And that might mean no more cosy family stuff for you and the ex. Sorry.

Wow said with such venom.

HidingNemo Wed 27-Mar-13 20:15:17

I love the bitter attitude towards "new families" on MN

I don't have a bitter attitude towards them at all. I am happy for them both and it's nice to see DD excited about a new baby.

As long as my DD is happy in her other family then I do not hold any bad feelings towards them.

Fleecyslippers Wed 27-Mar-13 20:16:27

And I 'don't' love the complete contempt and disregard for the children of a previous relationship on MN. As evidenced by the use of the term 'bio mum' - which is beyond contempt.

Op - all you can do is hope your Ex will not be dictated to about how he manages his relationship with you and your DD and if he does mess up, then you'll always be the stable rock for your little girl if it causes her any distress or upset. All the best smile

HidingNemo Wed 27-Mar-13 20:17:40

You are a psycho Ex and should know your place woman

Just because I look at their facebook's for hours each day and make phone calls to them and then hang up on a withheld number, and sometimes just happen to be in the same place they are - that doesn't make me a psycho ex thank you very much.

grin

YesIamYourSisterInLaw Wed 27-Mar-13 20:18:14

Op you have done NOTHING wrong so please don't let the negative comments get to you.
Was ex and new gf's baby planned? Because it really sounds like she wasn't happy from day one and wanted to be able to have a say I'm things.
What has your ex said about all this?
I think it's really sad things may have to change for you dd and sad that anything different is gasped at.

HidingNemo Wed 27-Mar-13 20:18:26

Thanks Fleecy that really did a smile to my face for the first time today x

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Wed 27-Mar-13 20:18:33

OP it was more aimed at fleecyslippers to be honest.

riverboat Wed 27-Mar-13 20:18:41

::headdesk::

HidingNemo Wed 27-Mar-13 20:23:53

And thank you YesIam too.

I don't think the baby was planned ... but I'm not sure.

I was talking to my ex and said would you like a lift to the end of school Easter concert. He looked slightly embarrassed and said he was going with gf and she wouldn't be comfortable all three of us going together.

She wants to go just the two of them to get a feel for the school as they might send them DS to that school. And then he said actually she's always felt uncomfortable about our relationship and us both spending time with DD and then said the reason above.

I didn't really say much back to that, just something like fair enough.

It hasn't been mentioned again.

HidingNemo Wed 27-Mar-13 20:24:48

Is that aimed at me Riverboat?

riverboat Wed 27-Mar-13 20:26:14

HidingNemo - have you ever actually met the new partner, face to face? Or is she not up for even being introduced?

YesIamYourSisterInLaw Wed 27-Mar-13 20:27:34

I think it was aimed at me.
Riverboat I agree with you, I just going off what I'm reading where op has extended an olive branch several times while new gf hides from her and had made her discomfort obvious.
Now she's pregnant and already making demands, it seems like she has always wanted to make but didn't feel she could before

riverboat Wed 27-Mar-13 20:28:39

No, HN, it was the 'beneath contempt' comment re: me having used 'biomum' even with asterisks and inverted commas.

My Dh's family was like this, It can be done. DH has 2 older half brothers from his Dads first marriage, lets call her A, they were together 12 years had 2 boys. Dh's dad then went on to meet my MIL and have my DH together. My MIL and A became good friends and remained friends for many years, my DH's half brothers even came to live with them when they were teens. MIL and DH's dad are still together 42 years later sadly A died a few years back, we went to her funeral and my dh was a pall bearer. His half brothers are very close to my MIL. It's all very civilised and no one has ever thought anything of it.

At the moment she is pregnant, i'm assuming it's her first child, she will be feeling insecure and vulnerable, right now you cant make any decisions, but maybe try and get your ex to compromise with her the amount of contact shed be happy with for now and review it as time goes by.

Good luck OP xx

Fleecyslippers Wed 27-Mar-13 20:31:09

Least you won't be in the same place as them any more if she gets her own way wink You'll have to think of another way to be a psycho Ex. Maybe demand that you see your DD on mothers day or sommat comletely unreasonable grin

riverboat Wed 27-Mar-13 20:36:11

I mean I couldn't have been clearer in my post about how much I like and respect my DP's ex/DSS's mum, whatever, but apparently my very use of the term in a one-off sentence shows I have nothing but contempt and disregard for my DSS and his mother!

It does just make me feel that some people just assign a whole load of negative qualities to someone as soon as they realise they are 'ex' or 'new woman' tbh, and ignore all the rest.

But maybe I am guilty of this myself, and am being too sensitive.

Fleecyslippers Wed 27-Mar-13 20:43:57

The term 'bio mother' is deeply offensive. You knew it was offensive but you still chose to us it, trying to soften it's impact by using apostrophes etc.

It is a nasty term, designed to undermine and belittle the unique relationship that a mother has with her child. Absolutely uncalled for in ANY context.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Wed 27-Mar-13 20:46:33

I don't think I have ever used the term bio-mum. In fact I have NEVER used it.

I don't even like the term step-mum to be honest.

The word "mum" is just that. Mum. No bio or step.

YesIamYourSisterInLaw Wed 27-Mar-13 20:47:30

I think it's sad that 2 people who are actually on the same right side are now fighting it out.
Can I ask why is bio mother offensive, I would genuinely like to know?

riverboat Wed 27-Mar-13 20:50:16

I don't know the history of the word, but to me it is used just when having online discussions and trying to be clear about someone's position in a complicated web of 'bio'parents (who may also be step parents to other children) step parents (who may also also be 'bio'parents), half siblings, full siblings, step siblings...

I don't think anyone uses it in real life or in any context when someone knows all the individual parties being talked about. Because it's not necessary It's just used for clarity when you're trying to talk about step/blended family dynamics and be clear who you are talking about when.

I don't think I've seen the word used in a belittling way thus far in my fairly limited experience, but I will be attentive in the future when I see the word used and consider your point of view.

BenjaminButton172 Wed 27-Mar-13 20:51:37

The girlfriend knew what the situation was like before she got pregnant. I presume no one was forcing her to stay in the relationship with your ex. If she didnt like it she didnt have to stay.

What does she have to be jealous about? Its not like you are hiding it, sneaking around and not including her. If she doesnt want to join in thats her own problem.

I think it is brilliant that you are able to do this with your dd and her dad. I think a lot of children could benefit from this.

I hope your DDs dad tells his girlfriend to get a grip.

riverboat Wed 27-Mar-13 20:52:31

Yeah, I actually don't want to fight because my whole point to begin with was about how it doesn't help anyone to do so!

So will try to take a step back.

ChippingInIsEggceptional Wed 27-Mar-13 20:59:14

I think you sound lovely & I think the relationship you have with your ex is lovely too and to be a family together for DD is great. You've done well smile

I think the gf is hormonal & scared. I have some sympathy for her but she knew the situation when she started seeing him - it's a bit manipulative to tell him now she's not happy with it (when she's pregnant and it's harder for him to say 'well this is how it is - take it or leave it').

I think though, you are going to have to let him work it all out. Keep doing what you've always done and let him do what he needs to do - whatever that turns out to be.

I hope you don't lose the lovely relationship you have with him.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 27-Mar-13 21:01:29

OP, do you think you will be able to sit together at this Easter concert? If it hasn't already happened that is.

My DH, ex and I go to many school things all together, although ex generally meets us there. I would have been very upset if, when the whole thing was in its early stages, if DH had said to me that I could no longer do these things with my dcs Dad. I love DH joining us, but there is no way I'd do those things without my ex. I share a child with him and that includes sharing our child's special occasions with him.

How do you think these things will pan out for you in the future? She might have a point about not wanting her BF to spend so much time at your house, but she really doesn't when it comes to things like school Easter concerts.

riverboat Wed 27-Mar-13 21:03:13

(...Before quickly saying that in French, the word for step mother is the same as the word for mother in law! Interesting/strange.)

(Also, again, I never refer to myself as DSS's stepmum in real life, nor does he refer to me as such, nor do I go round calling him my stepson. I only call myself a stepmum online to avoid typing out 'partner of my DP who has a son from a previous relationship' or 'my DP's son who is not actually my child but rather his ex''s every time I post)

CloudsAndTrees Wed 27-Mar-13 21:05:28

The word "mum" is just that. Mum. No bio or step.

So how do you plan to make it easy for people reading your posts to understand who you are talking about then?

A Mum is a Mum, a stepmum is a stepmum. That's how it works.

The GF sounds like a whinyarse, and I imagine if she doesn't grow up and get a grip then the OP's co-parent will probably get sick of her and dump her. Which would serve her right.

I am in a slightly similar situation to you Nemo in that my DS' dad and I are co-parents and not partners; we have known each other for over 20 years (DS is 8) and I got PG when we got pissed at Xmas and fell into bed 'for old times' sake'. We have family days out; we are a family, just one without a couple-relationship as part of it. DS dad has dated a bit and has an on-off longtime girlfriend - but she's not an insecure clingy PITA. She's been round to my house a few times and she and I get on quite well.
Mercifully DS dad would not give a whiny attention-seeker of a woman five minutes of his time - he is married to his work and always will be.

I advise you to stay calm, make sure that DD sees plenty of her father, and give the GF the opportunity to either grow up or sod off, though it would be unfortunate for DD's half-sibling if the silly cow doesn't get a grip.

YesIamYourSisterInLaw Wed 27-Mar-13 21:17:22

Riverboat I agree with your logic, I can't see why it's offensive which is why I asked.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Wed 27-Mar-13 21:29:30

So how do you plan to make it easy for people reading your posts to understand who you are talking about then?

Well I never say bio mum for a start. I say mum. Then for stepmum I suppose I have used it to establish who I am talking about. But I never refer to myself as stepmum to my OH's daughter or anyone who I know.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 27-Mar-13 21:29:43

Yanbu.

If I was the gf in this situation what would be going through my head would be "brilliant he's actively showing that he is holding up his responsibility towards his dd and his ex should our relationship go tits up I know we can make a go of being good parents having a united front and showing each other friendship and respect"

StanleyLambchop Wed 27-Mar-13 21:44:20

The GF sounds like a whinyarse, and I imagine if she doesn't grow up and get a grip then the OP's co-parent will probably get sick of her and dump her. Which would serve her right.

give the GF the opportunity to either grow up or sod off, though it would be unfortunate for DD's half-sibling if the silly cow doesn't get a grip.

Good Grief. Totally uncalled for.

Not at all: this whining stupid woman is happy to cause distress to a child (OP's DD) by restricting her time with her father, on the grounds that She Is The New Partner and therefore more important. Which she isn't.

StanleyLambchop Wed 27-Mar-13 21:49:16

But she is not restricting time with his DD. It is time with the OP that she objects to, and she is allowed to have that opinion without being insulted and vilified on an internat forum.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 27-Mar-13 21:51:10

Well technically no...she's not Stanley. The internet is a place of free speech.

ComposHat Wed 27-Mar-13 21:52:28

YANBU presumably the new girlfriend knew the score when they she started her relationship with your ex and that you two had a close relationship and were supportive parents. If she likes it or not, your ex does have another family. Your daughter will always be his daughter.

She took him on knowing that he came with a history (not the ideal word I know) and all the responsibilities that come with that.

I fear that the new child is being used as a bargaining chip by the new partner - hopefully he grows a spine and tell her to get to the farside of fuck.

StanleyLambchop Wed 27-Mar-13 21:53:24

The talk guidelines ask us to be civil. I do not believe that those comments about a person who has not had the opportunity to put her side are in any way civil. Can't the same point be made without resorting to insults?

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Wed 27-Mar-13 21:59:12

But she isn't restricting time with her father though. I am assuming he must always spend time with her father only in the presence of the OP? Going off what you're saying.

And by importance, she is more important than the OP on the grounds that she is his partner. If it's the old argument "well OP is the mother of his child" that makes the OP more important, well the new gf is going to be the mother of his 2nd child AND she is his partner.

Just a tad more important IMO.

Obviously not more important than his DD.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 27-Mar-13 22:11:24

She can be his partner without trying to change his previous relationships.

If she were trying to stop him spending time with his brother or his closest make friends, people would see it for what it is. She is trying to control him when she has no actual need too. Her BF isn't doing anything that needs to be changed for anyone's benefit except her own.

The relationship between a mother and father is given absolutely no recognition in our culture, and I think that needs to change. We celebrate every other relationship in our lives, yet the relationship a person has because of creating a child with someone is given no value whatsoever. I don't agree with that, for lots of reasons.

livinginwonderland Wed 27-Mar-13 22:33:58

your DD can see her dad and go out with her dad without you being there. my partner has three kids and he's friendly with his ex for that reason, but they wouldn't go out to a theme park or to the cinema together or anything like that. he goes to pick up the kids, they talk, then she does her own thing while he's with his children.

you say you do things as a family, but you're not a family anymore. it's great that you get on with your ex for your DD's sake, but you can't go out as a family and presumably be seen as a family without it causing problems. you can still be friends with him, but all going out together like that, while nice, would understandably make another partner uncomfortable.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 27-Mar-13 23:01:39

Why does it matter if the new partner is uncomfortable with it as long as the relationship with op and her ex is not based on any sexual thing or possible sexual thing. The current existing child has had the benefit of a independent relationship with her dad a relationship with her dad at the same time as his partner and the positive experance of a healthy respectful relationship with appropriate boundaries with her mum and dad. On top of a relationship with her mum.

She's used to dad + her, dad+ her + partner, dad + her + mum, mum+ her.

It sounds like this child is really very lucky, that the parents in her life are able to have friendships and support each other togather,as well as independently without being togather as partners.

I most certainly wouldn't expect a new partner of mine to tell me who I can be friends with and who I can't especially if that friendship was so positive for my child.

But it does sound like dad needs to be putting more effort into reassuring his dp that his romantic love is for her perhaps she's getting funny about it because she's insecure and he may be able to help with that without allowing her to change his friendships.

wannaBe Wed 27-Mar-13 23:11:05

when you get into a relationship with someone who has a child then you take on board the fact they also invariably have an ex. If the two ex partners co-parent effectively and that involves the occasional coffee/meal or even a trip to the cinema then the new partner needs to take that on, just because you become someone's partner doesn't mean you get to dictate their life, especially where a child is concerned.

Op said that the new dp said that it would be unfair for her child to see him being a father to another family. This sounds sinister to me tbh and it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if once the baby is born she tries to restrict the amount of time he spends with his dd. She sounds very controlling, and if the pregnancy wasn't planned I wonder if in fact she "planned" it. hmm

Me and my ex are amicable and while I don't think he would invite me on a day out we have been to school things together and in fact tonight he stayed for dinner because he was running late, asked if I could feed ds and I said he could stop too. Well I was cooking anyway so am I supposed to feed ds and then send ex home to cook for himself when there is plenty of food in my house, I am cooking and it gives him the chance to not have to go home and cook for one? or does that make me unreasonable? hmm

I think the "yabu" posters says more about them and their own insecurities/relationships with their ex's than anything else tbh.

Fleecyslippers Wed 27-Mar-13 23:11:30

YesIam the term 'Bio mum' is deeply offensive because it belittles the relationship that I as a mother have with MY children. It reduces it to a physical process, a biological relationship. I am much much more than that and my relationship with my kids is deeply emotional, spiritual and psychological. I will not be reduced to being seen as a uterus who produced a child but has no place in the nurturing of that child.

BenjaminButton172 Wed 27-Mar-13 23:11:35

What is wrong with mum, dad and child spending time together?

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 27-Mar-13 23:18:29

Yanbu. The current girlf knew the score with you and dd and your joint and amicable parenting relationship with ex when she chose to get pregnant by him. It's too late for her to kick off. What a stupid, spiteful bitch!

LittleRedFlame Wed 27-Mar-13 23:25:56

I am assuming he must always spend time with her father only in the presence of the OP?

Why would you assume that? I have read the entire thread and have come to no such conclusion.

Basically because the OP said she drops off and picks up her DD from his house. So obviously she does spend time alone with both parents.

This is what I hate about AIBU, people twist things to fit their own messed up story.

The OP has never once said her ex can only spend time with her DD when she is there. You have unfairly come to that conclusion yourself and stated it as though it was a fact.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 27-Mar-13 23:27:25

I also don't get the whole bio/ birth mum thing when applied to mothers who are actual mothers to their children. Its normally a phrase I would only hear used about the mothers of adopted children.

The term implies someone else is doing the mothering.

aufaniae Wed 27-Mar-13 23:33:55

YANBU, she is being monumentally insecure, but sadly it sounds like she's not mature enough to understand that the adult thing to do is to recognise that it's her problem, which she needs to deal with rather than imposing restrictions on a child's time with her mum and dad.

I'm very lucky that I have a wide circle of friends who are pretty open minded about this stuff. Jealousy isn't tolerated. My DP and I often socialise with a particular ex of mine and his GF for example, our DCs are friends now which is lovely. DP has lots of GFs and <ahem> liaisons in the past. We also socialise with several of his exes, and often their DCs too. It's only a problem if you make it one, (assuming there's not feelings of "unfinished business", which it's clear there isn't in your case). But sadly much of our society seems to think possessiveness and jealousy are perfectly acceptable.

FWIW I agree with wannabe "Op said that the new dp said that it would be unfair for her child to see him being a father to another family. This sounds sinister to me tbh and it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if once the baby is born she tries to restrict the amount of time he spends with his dd. She sounds very controlling,"

SirBoobAlot Wed 27-Mar-13 23:40:05

YANBU, and hopefully she is just being hormonal. ExP and I still make the effort to spend time together with DS because we feel it is important. They have time by themselves, but sometimes the three of us will go for lunch, and we spend the important occasions (birthdays / Christmas etc) together. It's better for DS.

It doesn't sound like a particularly healthy relationship if she is trying to alter the way her P interacts with his child.

BlueSkySunnyDay Wed 27-Mar-13 23:45:14

I think its important for your DD that she sees you, her dad and dad's new partner get on but I think maintaining a relationship where you socialise more than just an occasional drop off cup of coffee is possibly asking a bit much. God its bad enough that you have to deal with a partners parents without having to socialise with his ex's too.

It feels a bit to me like she does have issues though and I suspect ultimately she may try to limit your DD's time with her father which would be inexcusable. I think you need to step back from this the friendship with his ex and give his new relationship a chance whilst ensuring your DD spends sufficient time with her Dad. If you make it a competition then its going to get messy isnt it and ultimately your child may suffer.

LittleRedFlame Wed 27-Mar-13 23:55:54

If you make it a competition then its going to get messy isnt it and ultimately your child may suffer.

Harsh, OP isn't trying to make it a competition. She hasn't demanded his time or given him an ultimatum.

God its bad enough that you have to deal with a partners parents without having to socialise with his ex's too.

Rather have a good or civil relationship with an ex, as they have the potential to be in your life for a long time.

The other parent of your child is family, though. Unless an XP is so hostile and unreasonable that it's not possible to spend any time in his/her presence, then it's far better to be as friendly as possible: you will always have the connection of your children.Obviously some people have to cut contact with family members because the family member is absolutely horrible and harmful to be around, but on the whole, the more the merrier and it's better for everyone to be on good terms.

What this silly cow is doing is considering that a romantic couple-relationship is the most important kind of relationship there is, which is bullshit. If she's not together enough to cope with the fact that she's joining an existing family, and to appreciate the fact that a family with additional loving adults is absolutely wonderful for children, then she's going to end up on her own and it will serve her right. SHe's only been with the man a year - how much of that year has she spent stamping her foot and insisting on her own importance?

YesIamYourSisterInLaw Thu 28-Mar-13 00:04:24

I think the "yabu" posters says more about them and their own insecurities/relationships with their ex's than anything else tbh.

Hear hear

BlueSkySunnyDay Thu 28-Mar-13 00:34:17

Sorry I didnt meant to sound harsh, I totally get that his new partner has an issue but ultimately he hasnt thought it through and despite the fact that there were already red flags he has gone ahead and started a family with her. The relationship is new, he would most likely side with the pregnant girlfriend if pushed into a corner so probably best to step to the side for a bit, once the rose tinted glasses sort themselves out then I expect things will settle down.

The most important thing is that the ops child maintains a relationship with her father as my gut feeling is this girlfriend is looking for an excuse to make things difficult.

StanleyLambchop Thu 28-Mar-13 07:27:59

I think the "yabu" posters says more about them and their own insecurities/relationships with their ex's than anything else tbh.

I think that cuts both ways, there seems to be an amount of projecting of their own problems ex' situations from the YANBUers IMO.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 28-Mar-13 07:28:53

I forsee a swap. The OPs child will spend time with the new family...and never with the OP and her ex. Why is that fair?

In an age of blended families, we need to push for more of what the OP had with her ex before the girlfriend got pregnant.

My friend has the best set up ever...she has 2 DC with her husband and he also has a DD from a previous marriage. Luckily, the DDs mum is very nice and very stable and she and her new husband and children all specnd time with my friend and her DH and kids.

The whole lot of them babysit, have dinners together...parties are whole family affairs.

I know this is a rare thing...but they worked at it...all 4 adults made a huge effort.

The children have benefitted SO much and they basically all know that if anythign happened to any of them, the support would be there for the DC.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Thu 28-Mar-13 07:51:49

That works for your friend and everyone involved which is good for them, but its not to everyone's taste.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 28-Mar-13 07:58:28

If a good arrangement like that doesn't work for the new partner, then they don't have to be involved. They can choose not to bring a child into the family set up they don't want to be part of.

But they can't get pregnant and then decide to change an arrangement that works for everyone except themselves. That's just selfish and controlling.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Thu 28-Mar-13 08:03:40

And what if the dad doesn't want to do it anymore? Does it mean he's "neglecting his first family?"

binger Thu 28-Mar-13 08:10:36

I think it's fair enough for you to take a step back now. As long as dd gets plenty time with dad, partner and baby then I don't think there is an issue.

StanleyLambchop Thu 28-Mar-13 08:13:42

But they can't get pregnant and then decide to change an arrangement that works for everyone except themselves. That's just selfish and controlling.

But noone knows the circumstances behind the pregnancy, not even the OP. Perhaps he was desperate to have a child with his GF, maybe she was reluctant because she felt uncomfortable with the situation, maybe he then made promises that he would cut down the amount of 'hanging out' time with the OP and he is now having to tell the OP but giving her the impression that it is the GF's insistance because he does not want to admit it is him? Who knows? But if he does not want to spend the same amount of time with the OP for whatever reason then that is up to him.

Branleuse Thu 28-Mar-13 08:15:55

I think you should back off in all honesty

CloudsAndTrees Thu 28-Mar-13 08:19:31

If it is up to him, I absolutely agree with you. It's his choice to make, and he shouldn't be influenced by anyone. If he wants to cut down the time he spends with OP, then he isn't doing anything wrong as long as he still sees his first child just as much.

If he doesn't want to, and is being pressured by his new GF, then he is wrong if he lets her insecurities affect his situation with his child.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Thu 28-Mar-13 08:52:40

If the Dad changes his mind about it then he's a shit. No argument. You can't just "move on" from your children. Op need not keep the same arrangements as things have always been...but the odd meal together or birthday parties are good for the child as is both parents attending school functions with the child.

The girlfriend should also be made welcome to join in then there is no problem with her feeling excluded.

StanleyLambchop Thu 28-Mar-13 09:05:29

If the Dad changes his mind about it then he's a shit. No argument. You can't just "move on" from your children

For about the hundreth time, he is not being asked to move on from his DD, merely to not spend so much time with the OP. The Op has also not said he has been prevented from attending birthday parties, just that the GF would prefer it if he cut back on the evening meals and trips to the cinema. Will the DD really suffer if her parents no longer go to the cinema together? Really?

The OP has also stated that the GF is considering sending her child to the same school as the DD. That does not seem like the actions of an insecure woman trying to cut her partners DD out of their lives.

2rebecca Thu 28-Mar-13 09:15:59

I think it's inevitable that now your ex has a new partner and is due to have another child he will spend less time with you. I don't see why this should disadvantage his daughter in any way, he can still spend as much time with his daughter, it's just trips out with his daughter will include his partner not you and if he goes to the cinema he goes with his daughter and partner.
I can also see that if he has a baby he should be getting home to help look after the baby not have dinner with you once a week, small babies are tiring and time consuming.
I think 2 exes socialising alot together only really works if neither of you have new partners.
I think his partner is unreasonable if she's asking your ex to spend less time with his daughter, but not if she's asking him to spend less time with you.
Ultimately he can decide how much time he wants to spend with you and I think the new partner is getting flak for decisions your ex is making, but if he wanted to socialise with you alot then surely you'd still be together and not divorced?
I get on with my ex and we go to parents evenings etc together and jointly discuss stuff about the kids. We don't go out for meals or to the cinema together though.
If you enjoy still socialising with your ex I can understand you being upset but he has chosen to live with and have a child with another woman.

MercedesKing Thu 28-Mar-13 09:22:47

A dilemma... The key to solve the situation is his girlfriend. Guess you two can have a sincere conversation to her, you daughter needs father as well, the girlfriend can not cut off the links between the father and the daughter, please at least have a detailed thinking on maintain the condition for your daughter's healthy growth, please at least fight for it... Hope everything would go smooth as soon as possible.

StanleyLambchop Thu 28-Mar-13 09:26:03

the girlfriend can not cut off the links between the father and the daughter,

And where does it say that she is? It is time spent with the OP that he has been asked to reduce, not his DD . I think 2Rebecca has summed it up perfectly.

fromparistoberlin Thu 28-Mar-13 09:26:38

honestly? I can see her issues

So I assume she has no issues with him seeing her DD, and I hope your DD will get a new relationship with their new sibling

But would I like my partner spending cosy family time with his ex? No, I would not to be honest. lets face facts, you used to make love. and have a child.

her reaction is shitty, but a VERY human one

Thing is, people who can maintain friendly family relationships with XPs and just include new partners into the gang, we are the superior ones and we are the future. That really is the bottom line. Insisting on prioritising romantic-sexual relationships over all others is stupid because it really doesn't work and leads to lots of unhappiness.

And it's perfectly possible in a case like the OP's to be very fond of your child's other parent with no romantic/sexual component. They pretty much grew up together; their relationship now is going to be more that of siblings. So the GF really does need to get over herself before she makes a huge mess of everything for everyone else and herself.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Thu 28-Mar-13 10:05:22

2rebecca has made some extremely good points.

I don't normally reply to many posts - mostly lurk - but I really felt I wanted to here.

OP I don't think YABU really, but I do think you may have to be sensitive towards the new GF's feelings a bit on this one.

Isn't what the OP and her ex have actually the model of 'co-parenting' - the holy grail of parenting after a split??? The fact that they are friends, can get along, can both jointly be there to support their DD and spend time with her to make her feel secure and cared for should be highly praise.

My DP had cause to go to a court mandated parenting class with his Ex a short time ago. Long story and I won't bore you with it here, but they bought back some information. The relationship the OP describes was the exact thing that was being encouraged here - the thing that they were told was in the best interests of their child.

So no, I don't think OP and her partner are being unreasonable.

It also does sound like OP has made efforts to include new GF in this, and that so far she has declined. We only have OPs word on this, but it seems very reasonable to me.

However, OP, a new baby does bring change for everyone involved. And because of your close links with your Ex that includes you too. He will need ot be there for his partner and their new baby and that may mean a reduction in the time that he has to spend around your house in the evenings etc.

Changes will have to be made, and I'm afraid you may need to accept that this means it somewhat curtails his time spent around you. Your Ex's priority at the moment is his DD. In a few months time it will be his DD AND his DS, and he will have to manage that.

Also, she is pregnant. Hormones made me ridiculously sensitive and insecure. Please give her a little bit of leeway.

As for what you can do about the situation, well it's kind of your Exs decision to make really, so out of your hands. It is for him to learn/ decide how to manage his competing priorities.

The only thing I can suggest you do is have a chat to him and let him know that you are proud of the co-parenting relationship that you have developed, that you think is i very good for DD, and that you would like it continue and would very much like to include his other family too. Also raise how you both might manage any changes post birth with DD and how you will broach it with her. Then really it is up to him to make his decision as best he can.

Fleecyslippers Thu 28-Mar-13 10:16:10

It IS going to have an impact on the child. If Miss Prissy Pants gets her way, her daddy won't be ALLOWED to pop in for dinner or have a coffee with mummy whilst she shows him her latest painting or the new curtains in her room. The status quo that she has been used to all her life. Its not fair on a little girl to be forced to give up things which are normal to her on the whims of an insecure and jealous Ex.
'Why don't you come for tea anymore daddy ?' sad
'Because X won't allow me to'

Really puts the child first. Not hmm

Fleecyslippers Thu 28-Mar-13 10:17:17

Girlfriend not Ex.

HugeLaurie Thu 28-Mar-13 10:19:20

My ex husband used to see our son three times a week. Then five years ago he met his partner and since then contact has become less and less. I'm not allowed to text or telephone my ex because apparently she doesn't like it. If my ex needs to speak to me about our son then he rings me at work whilst he is also at work so she doesn't find out. I text him about parents evening a few weeks ago and he rang me up the next day and told me to stop texting about our son as she checks his phone.

His partner has also said to me that my ex sees our son 'too much'. He sees him once a week at the moment and that regularly gets cancelled if they want to go out or away for the weekend.

It's like she wants to erase his previous family from the picture entirely. The only person who suffers is our son, who is now nearly nine years old, who is starting to realise that his dad only wants to see him when it's convenient or doesn't clash with something that my ex and his partner would prefer to do. Last time he cancelled having him my son cried his eyes out and he asked me if his dad didn't love him any more.

I could blame her but actually it's not her fault. It's my ex's fault for not standing up to her when they first met.

My ex and I never went out together or socialised together and I only ever contacted my ex about our son but I can't even do that anymore, which affects how our son is parented by both of us.

I suppose that this is an extreme example of what can happen when your ex meets a new partner but it can and does happen.

I have no meaningful advice but I would expect that this is just the start of how things are going to be from now on.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Thu 28-Mar-13 10:25:36

Christ alive, what a selfish cow!

If anyone got involved with my Ex, and tried to change the way we co-parent our DC's (which is very similar to the OP's set up), I would be exceedingly angry.

You can't just come into an existing set up and change it TO THE DETRIMENT OF A CHILD OR CHILDREN!

Who the hell does that?!

MOST separated parents I know do very similar to the OP and myself. Only ones I know that don't is where abuse or DV has been involved!

Why is it seen as a bad thing to show your DC's that you are still a family, just a slightly more unconventional one?

This is ALL about the new girlfriend's jealousy and selfishness.

She knew the situation before she ever got involved with the OP's Ex. She had two choices - accept that this was the situation, and understand that it is for the best for the OP's DD, or to not get involved in the first place.

She chose to get involved with the OP's Ex, meaning she accepted the situation. You don't then get to change the goalposts AFTER you have made that choice!

And yes, the comment about it being 'unfair for her DC to see it's father being a father to another family' is VERY chilling. I would not be surprised if she tries to limit contact after her DC is born. At which point, I would NOT be amicable towards my ex any more - because it would be having an obvious effect on my DC.

This actually makes me really angry - who the hell does she think she is to barge her way into a set up that works for the CHILD in the situation, and then try to change things that WILL adversely affect the child?!

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Thu 28-Mar-13 10:29:47

Nope, Stanley, I DON'T feel she is 'allowed to have that opinion' when it is just pure selfishness to try to change what works for the CHILD for the sake of an adult throwing their rattle out of the pram.

She KNEW what she was getting into. So trying to change that IS selfishness, pure and simple.

She isn't trying to change the situation for the benefit of the OP's DC, is she? Therefore she's being selfish, trying to change something that everyone else in the situation is happy with, works well, and leaves the OP's DC feeling sage and secure in her relationships with BOTH parents, to something that only makes HER happy. That IS selfish, pure and simple.

elastamum Thu 28-Mar-13 10:31:52

I think SGB sums it up perfectly. Why should anyone prioritise their own romantic relationship over the well being of their children. Both I am my DP have good relationships with our exes, which extend to birthday meals out, attending important events together with our children and shock cooking meals and offering tea etc. Just as we would do with any close friend.

My ex and I also have joint bank accounts to pay for the childrens expenses and keys to each others houses so we can collect stuff they forget to bring home if need be. The children are cool with it, and they know that their parents present a united front, as we always discuss important decisons between us.

There is no one model for how to be a good seperated parent. Please dont let this woman stop the pair of you you doing what is best for your child

twitchycurtains Thu 28-Mar-13 10:32:37

For all of you demonising the new gf, where does it say that she wants to curtail his involvement in his daughters life?. Op, you need to back off a bit, your ex can still be a good dad without having to spend a lot of time with you. If you are such good friends surely you wouldn't want to put him in position where he has to effectively choose you or his partner.

Surely, all good friendships change/adapt when serious relationships and children come along? I know mine did.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Thu 28-Mar-13 10:39:09

But it IS curtailing the way these people have decided to co-parent. Which IS detrimental to the child in the situation.

They are spending time with the child they share - therefore there will be things that BOTH parents wish to share with their DD - the first day at school, the first time she goes on a rollercoaster, a day trip out somewhere new, a visit to the farm.

It's how it's always worked for all THREE OF THEM, the OP, herEx, and most importantly, their DD.

Why the hell should one person's selfishness stop that?

The OP's DD will likely think that she has done something to upset her dad if he suddenly no longer wishes to eat a dinner at her mums house once a week, or go to the cinema with her and her Mum, or drop in for coffee.

It IS detrimental to the OP's DC. Without question.

Why is there such a 'thing' about having to hate your exes, and never be near them, even if it hurts your DC and leaves their loyalties divided?

Why can't people get along amicably for the sake of their DC's?

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Thu 28-Mar-13 10:42:14

And it WILL curtail his involvement in her life, if she suddenly has to start compartmentalising her 'two' families.

They AREN'T two families - they are one now larger family - the Ex's GF and new baby are ADDITIONS to the family, not a separate family.

So yes, the GF IS trying to limit the OP's Ex's involvement in his DD's life!

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Thu 28-Mar-13 10:45:11

The GF added to the existing family of the OP, her Ex, and their DD. Now a new baby is also being added to the family.

You can't just write a child's mother out of that child's family - so therefore whenever you start a relationship with a man that has existing DC, you are JOINING their family. If you then have DC's with that man, you are adding to that man's EXISTING family, NOT creating a separate family.

Lots of new partners in this situation would do well to remember this!

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Thu 28-Mar-13 10:46:01

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs

So what you are saying is that my DP's ex is "family" to my children?

I think I can tell you now she is not. And her child she has with her new partner is nothing to do with me either.

Like it or not he has a family until with his dd, his child on the way and his gf. And his ex is NOT a part of that.

HugeLaurie Thu 28-Mar-13 10:47:15

Ultimately though it will be for the ex to decide whether to go along with his girlfriend's demands. The girlfriend can ask but she can't actually make him stop spending time with the OP and their child, unless he agrees to it.

allnewtaketwo Thu 28-Mar-13 10:48:06

Agree SoWhat - DH's ex has nothing whatsoever to do with our family. DSSs do of course. As are they part of their mothers family. So they are part of 2 families. Me and my child are part of one family which includes DH and DSSs.

allnewtaketwo Thu 28-Mar-13 10:49:18

Ultimately OP, whatever you think about this, the decision is down to your ex. It's not up to us to say who is reasonable, you or new partner, because neither of you make the actual decision about how things will proceed. Your ex will.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Thu 28-Mar-13 10:50:36

*family unit

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Thu 28-Mar-13 10:52:44

allnew exactly.

I refuse to see MY children as part of one big family. Their family consists of me, my partner, my partner's dd and each other.

NOT SD's mother and her seperate family too!

KellyElly Thu 28-Mar-13 10:56:28

For all the people who think the gf is being selfish and should put up and shut up where is the line drawn. Is it appropriate for the OP and her ex to go on a family holiday together, for him to stay over at her house??

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Thu 28-Mar-13 10:58:51

Oh a family holiday. I'm sorry but that WOULD be taking the piss.

Viviennemary Thu 28-Mar-13 11:12:31

People can see their family in any way they choose. But if one partner doesn't see it that way then there is trouble. I would strongly object to my partner having social family dates with an ex. If the new partner doesn't then fine. But in your case maybe it would be better if the girlfriend bowed out now as it's all going to end in tears and upset for her if you carry on with these unfair demands on a new partner. That's my opinion. And she finds herself a more committed partner.

BegoniaBampot Thu 28-Mar-13 11:15:37

I understand you don't want things to change as it suits you (and your daughter) but I don't think the GF is being unreasonable as long as she wants the dad to spend as much time wi his daughter as possible. Realistically, if you wanted that kind of cosy set up and no new partners or children to come in and make things more difficult or different the. You should have stayed together. I also find it hard to believe that many of your future partners would really be happy for you meals and days out with your ex to continue. Your ex has found someone else and is having a baby. If you really wanted the best for him I think you would understand and help with the transition. Would you reall want to make him totally choose?

I think it's a shame that the new GF can't be quite as open-minded and generous as you two have been. He has 4 relationships here:

1. OP's DD
2. Op
3. New GF
4. GFs baby.

1 and 4 come first, 3 comes next and sadly 2 comes last. But there doesn't have to be a heirarchy if new GF could get over her jealousy and insecurity. OP is just a friend - with the added element of a shared child. As long as OP isn't stopping him spending time with GF and baby I can't see why she should have a problem.

allnewtaketwo Thu 28-Mar-13 11:22:53

"I can't see why she should have a problem"

But that's not really relevant to the situation or how it gets resolved (unless of coures the ex agrees with you and dumps her)

Fleecyslippers Thu 28-Mar-13 11:23:34

'For all the people who think the gf is being selfish and should put up and shut up where is the line drawn. Is it appropriate for the OP and her ex to go on a family holiday together, for him to stay over at her house?? '

And where exactly is the OP suggesting that she wants to do ANY of that ? shock

At the end of the day, there will always be people who are mature and confident enough to cope with being a second/wife partner without bringing their own demands and insecurities into play and demanding that a little girls routine and family dynamic is shifted to suit them.
Unfortunately there are plenty of women who are incapable of doing that and unfortunately your Ex has ended up in a relationship with one of them. YANBU OP and I really hope that your DD doesn't suffer.

teacherandguideleader Thu 28-Mar-13 11:25:47

I was in a relationship with someone who had a child once and was pleased he spent time with his child. He used to spend two days a week with her (not overnight) with their child and I was fine with this - I got involved knowing he had a child.

However, they went in holiday together so he got a 'family' holiday. I felt that was a step too far as they were no longer a family unit. I would have been more than happy to adapt mine and bf's holidays to accommodate a child. In addition, when there were family events, I didn't get to go as she would not let her child go without her, so it was always him, her and child with me left out at home.
That was too much for me. I accepted he had a child, but I was not included at all, she still thought they could go around as a family even though they weren't anymore. I'm just glad it ended before another child was added to the equation.

StanleyLambchop Thu 28-Mar-13 11:26:41

To think that the co-parenting arrangement that has been set up between the OP and her ex is set in stone and should never change is unreasonable. Things change all the time, the DDs world is about to change anyway, because she is about to get a sibling, and that would be the case even if the sibling was the second child of the OP & ex.

There is also a lot of talk of the DD having to be prioritised over everyone else, but what about the new baby? Does he not get a look in, or does he just have to fit in around these sacred arrangements that cannot be changed?

'Daddy, can you read me stories tonight?' 'Sorry son I am off to the cinema with your sister and her mother' sad.

To be fair, if you read the opening post it is actually all about how sad the OP will feel about losing time with her ex, the DD losing out is only mentioned in the final line, as if she is only a secondary issue in this.

Machli Thu 28-Mar-13 11:37:38

Well from my own personal experience. Ex and I have a similar set up to the OP. We are not together for so many reasons but do get on as friends. Most importantly though we have two dc with SN who it benefits when we all do things together.

Ex got a GF last year. All fine in the beginning, then a few months in the comments started and ex tried to go along with it eg they did not spend Christmas together but she was getting arsey about him spending it with us so he only came for a couple of hours then went back to his. So he sat alone in his flat while me and the dc were at ours a couple of miles away to keep her happy. I respected it, thought it was ridiculous but it's their relationship and nothing to do with me. He rang me at about 8 pm and said this is pointless can I come back round and put the kids to bed.

GF carried on getting arsey about things, making snide comments etc. she was dumped shortly after New Year.

I don't see the harm in this kind of set up and it sounds to me like the only one with problem is GF, which makes me a bit hmm as to why well working arrangements and systems involving children should change just for a foot stamping grown woman. That's just my opinion.

allnewtaketwo Thu 28-Mar-13 11:43:58

Sorry if this has been covered but OP do you have a partner?

YesIamYourSisterInLaw Thu 28-Mar-13 11:45:48

*There is also a lot of talk of the DD having to be prioritised over everyone else, but what about the new baby? Does he not get a look in, or does he just have to fit in around these sacred arrangements that cannot be changed?

'Daddy, can you read me stories tonight?' 'Sorry son I am off to the cinema with your sister and her mother'*.

But it wouldn't have to be like that either, in ideal world they'd ALL go together as friends with both kids in tow. It's the new gf that doesn't want to or hasn't even tired to be friends

madonnawhore Thu 28-Mar-13 11:47:27

There is also a lot of talk of the DD having to be prioritised over everyone else, but what about the new baby? Does he not get a look in, or does he just have to fit in around these sacred arrangements that cannot be changed?

Exactly. The family dynamic is changing. Everyone will have to adapt. At the moment it seems like to OP and her ex are expecting the GF to do all the adapting so they can keep everything the same. Very unfair. I'd be pissed off too.

And as far as DD is concerned, that's what happens when siblings come along. The dynamics change, and you go with the flow. I don't see why this has to be detrimental to her at all. She can still spend just as much time with her dad.

YesIamYourSisterInLaw Thu 28-Mar-13 11:47:31

allnew op said she doesn't but previously broke up with a 7month relationship and he was fine with arrangement

allnewtaketwo Thu 28-Mar-13 11:48:28

I think if you put a group of people in the gf's position it would really be a minority who would be happy with the current set-up. Same for any partner of OP. So the chances of them both finding partners who are happy with it are really really small imo

Fleecyslippers Thu 28-Mar-13 11:50:34

And daddy isn't doing your story tonight but he'll do.it tomorrow night and the night after and the night after that. But tonight he's spending some time with your sister, as he does every Wednesday night. Do you think he's reading 3 little pigs ? Shall We read 3 little pigs as well ? And daddy will be here later to tuck.you into bed'

I do not know why some people find it so difficult to see the bigger picture when involved with a man who already has a family hmm

BegoniaBampot Thu 28-Mar-13 11:55:07

Stanley had a point. The Op's first post was about how any changes would affect her more than it affecting her daughter.

Aop- if you got a new partner you were serious about and in the first throws of love - do you really think you would want this status quo to remain? Do you really think he woul?

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Thu 28-Mar-13 11:56:34

But it wouldn't have to be like that either, in ideal world they'd ALL go together as friends with both kids in tow. It's the new gf that doesn't want to or hasn't even tired to be friends

But why should they all go together? Is that what every cinema trip should be like? The OP's ex and his gf have a family together of their own and might want to do this without the OP.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Thu 28-Mar-13 12:01:15

"But tonight he's spending some time with your sister"

As he does when she stays at his house. That still counts as seeing her dad. You make it out like he never sees her.

olgaga Thu 28-Mar-13 12:07:36

The family dynamic is changing. Everyone will have to adapt.

Exactly my feelings. YANBU to be sad about it OP, but it's going to happen that way and YWBU to insist your ex continues to do family things with your DD which include you.

His new family is him, GF, DD and new baby, when he or she arrives.

Your DD is part of that family, but you are not.

The purpose of contact between DD and her dad is for her to maintain a relationship with him - not you.

riverboat Thu 28-Mar-13 12:10:28

I agree with allnew to an extent, it doesn’t help the OP in dealing with the problem at hand to just say the GF is a stupid bitch who needs to stop whining. Even if that is the case, the OP will probably achieve a better outcome for herself and her daughter by trying to understand any grains of reasonability in the GF’s stance and be prepared to make some compromises.
 
Ultimately we can all tell the OP YANBU til the cows come home, but the ex is holding all the cards. He’s the only one who can really judge the situation and make the call on what to do.
 
If GF is really saying that all semblance of friendship between the OP and the ex must stop, and they can never do anything together with their DD, I think that is very sad and that the OP’s ex has some very difficult decisions ahead of him. But maybe she is just saying she wants there to be clearer lines between the two family units, without meaning the OP and ex can never chat or do birthdays together or whatever. Which could be more reasonable.

my dsd doesnt call me her step-mom, she calls me her 2nd mom.. i have no idea how her mom feels about it because i dont have to speak to her mom as dsd is an adult and her mom doesnt factor into contact arrangements anymore.. dsd just tells us she's coming and we make room! grin

However, i'm on the shelf with this one, but leaning towards the GF needing to get over herself... i think its great you have such a good relationship with your Ex and can do the family stuff together, but i think in the situation, i would have felt uncomfortable with the meals at your house.. the cinema with child wouldnt bother me, you coming for coffee wouldnt bother me.

"family days out" and the meals would grate i think, but if i were here, i'd be joining in as much as possible.. i wanted a good relationship with DSD's mom, but she made it very hard, which you're not!

So yeah.. ramble over. I think she needs to come to the party with you a bit, but i think on the flip side that you need to cut out the meals at your house.. i think. confused

notimefors Thu 28-Mar-13 12:13:33

I think your ex's new GF is being unreasonable. It is a shame, but from the replies here it's obvious that the way she is behaving must be quite natural. sad

2rebecca Thu 28-Mar-13 12:16:40

I think all going together is fine if ALL of you want to do everything together. My husband and my ex don't get on though and I think it would be unfair to force my husband to go to the cinema with my ex, my kids and I just because we used to do that when we were together, and I do think it would be odd to go to the cinema with my ex and kids rather than my husband and kids.
Likewise I'm happy to chat to my husband's ex when I see her but wouldn't want to socialise with her on a regular basis. Thankfully she has her own social life and husband and is happy for my stepkids to just come here or my husband to go out to dinner with his kids without her wanting to tag along too.

But by the sound of it this new GF has made no effort at all, just whined and stamped her feet. The OP has tried to make friends and the GF won't even meet her.

One or two XPs of mine (well, exboyfriends as I never married or lived with any of them) took up with clingy, whiny women after going out with me, and I lost them as friends for a while. But generally they got sick of the whiners, dumped them, and were back on the social scene again. This is probably what's going to happen here, but it will be rough on the baby as s/he grows up.

BegoniaBampot Thu 28-Mar-13 12:55:45

Of course the GF is whinging and stamping her feet - we are hearing it only from one side of course and with very little Information.

Bridgetbidet Thu 28-Mar-13 13:31:33

Hmm. Bit of a catch 22 situation.

As far as I can see there are two ways of reacting.

Girlfriend says she wants ex to spend less time with OP.
OP says, right fine. Obviously girlfriend didn't have a point.

OR

Girlfriend says she wants ex to spend less time with OP.
OP objects to this. It thus appears girlfriend may have a point.

I suspect in this case that the girlfriend may have a bit of a point. The OPs whole reaction is kind of proprietorial over the ex and there seems to be a rivalry and competition between the OP and the new girlfriend for his time. For that reason there MUST be a problem. And unfortunatley as the ex the OP has to be the one to take a step back in this situation.

OP - if you push this issue and insist that you should spend time with him along with your daughter you are only going to cause problems for yourself because you are simply going to make it look as though the GF does have a point because you are insisting that your ex should spend time with you and your daughter rather than just with your daughter. You cannot win in this situation by fighting against this I'm afraid. Any stand you make against it will just compound the problem and make it look more and more like the girlfriend is absolutely in the right no matter how incorrect this is.

I think if we heard the GFs side of the story it probably wouldn't be this straightforward either. I suspect that there's a lot more to this than meets the eye.

mummabug Thu 28-Mar-13 14:15:38

Very good point bridget

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Thu 28-Mar-13 21:57:46

Stanley - flip that around - "Daddy can you come to the cinema with me and mummy like you did last time" "No, I have to read your brother a bedtime story"...

Why should the set up change?

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Thu 28-Mar-13 22:05:21

Of COURSE the OP is a part of ANY family that includes her DD. you CAN'T just 'write out' the mother from the DC's family!!!

Just as you can't write out the father. The OP's DD has ALWAYS had time that is spent with both her parents together.

I tell you now - if I got with a new partner who didn't like the fact that my Ex spends a lot of time here with his DC's, that new partner would be dumped pretty sharpish.

I wouldn't want to be in a relationship with a selfish man-child that wasn't able to put my DC's feelings first and foremost.

And I'm pretty sure my Ex would be the same!

Why would anyone put a new relationship above the way they currently parent their shared DC's?

Surely if a mum posted on here and said that they had always spent time doing things for their DC's WITH their father, even after their split, and HER new partner was saying that it had to stop, loads of people would jump in saying LTB because he's being controlling and not putting your DC's feelings first. So why is this any different?!

Cherriesarelovely Thu 28-Mar-13 22:26:59

I don't actually think either you or the gf are bu. There is nothing weird about you and your ex getting along well, I think that is brilliant. Equally though I completely understand the gf feeling insecure about this. I am more like you OP and my DP is more like the gf in that she finds being friends with an ex very odd!!

This used to drive me up the wall as like you there was nothing at all other than friendship between me and my ex. However, I realised that my DP had her own reasons for feeling insecure (being cheated on several times in the past). I just tried to be understanding but at the same time didn't totally back down. Over the years it has all worked out really well. They like each other now! Sometimes it takes people a bit of time to get used to things like this.

In general I think a zero-tolerance approach to whining is the best way to deal with it. It never does any good to indulge jealous people, they just get worse: they should either be laughed at or dumped.

riverboat Thu 28-Mar-13 23:53:36

Couthy - because the decision is not OPs to make? She can't 'LTB', when 'TB' is her ex's new partner.

She could tell her ex she thinks he should leave his GF, or she could do her utmost to continue involving her ex in joint DD time as much as possible. But I'm not sure either of these would be a good thing as it seems likely to force an even bigger explosion from GF later down the road.

I guess if a) OP feels absolutely sure in herself that she is completely NBU in any way, and b) is sure of where her ex's priorities lie, she could do the above. But I'm not sure either is the case.

SummerFin Fri 29-Mar-13 00:00:16

Why are people telling the OP to "back off"?

It sounds like it was an extremely mutual agreement between both.

When her ex told her girlfriend wasn't happy - the OP said she didn't comment on it.

Why tell her to back off? She's not demanding him to do anything.

LittleTyga Fri 29-Mar-13 00:20:02

I'm on Team Nemo - OP and EX have been friends since school and are still friends now. The new GF sounds insecure and irrational. They are completely open and haven't been sneaking around behind her back. She should accept their friendship unless either of them betray her trust.

I feel sorry for their DD who is going to feel pushed out in favour of the new baby. For her sake the status quo should remain.

Good luck sorting this out Nemo!

lisianthus Fri 29-Mar-13 01:20:48

I don't think it helped that the "olive branch" was an invitation from the OP to the new partner for the new partner to spend a day out with the OP, her child and the new partner's own DP. The impression that may have had on the new partner who is pregnant and hormonal is that the OP, and more importantly, her partner will see her new little family unit as only an addendum to the existing "proper family".

It would have been a bit more tactful for the invitation to have been made by the OP to the new partner and the ex as a couple, perhaps even made directly to the new partner ("Mabel, would you and Bob like to come to the circus with little Cecily and me") to make it absolutely clear that the OP sees them as a couple.

Mind you, I don't think the ex is being a particularly good partner to his new partner, who will also be the mother of his child. All the "looking sheepish"/eye rolling nonsense he appears to be indulging in with the OP at the expense of his new partner should be kept to himself. If he is serious about his new partner, and he should be given the circumstances, he needs to be making more of an effort to nurture his new family, while still looking after his DD. His relationship with the OP is the relationship which should be way behind in the priorities here. There may be nothing sexual here, but it may feel like an EA to the new partner particularly in her current hormonal state.

cheerup Fri 29-Mar-13 07:18:31

Not sure why the new partner, ie woman OPs ex is in a relationship with and living with, is referred to as the girlfriend in much of this thread as if the OP is still his partner because she was first to have a child with him despite the fact they split up four years ago. I'm only surprised she's been willing to go so far as starting a family with someone who doesn't seem to have been able to put proper boundaries in place with his long time ex partner.
I think its very strange that you think you are still part of a family with your ex after 4 years separation and do think that you are being unreasonable in expecting it to continue. Time to move on and think about how this can best progress in the interests of both the children.

LittleBairn Fri 29-Mar-13 07:34:38

It's a shame the GF insecurities are ruining what sounds like a good healthy dynamic between you all. The real looser is your DD getting to spend time with both her parents. I imagine the sudden change will also upset and confuse her I would be asking her father how he intends to deal with it.

I wonder if she GF was just bidding her time the whole time, makes her come across as disingenuous. I'm betting of she was like this at the beginning the relationship wouldn't have developed and she wouldn't be pregnant.

cheerup Fri 29-Mar-13 07:38:41

As for "when you get together with someone who has children, you are joining an existing family." WTF? If they are still a family then both the adults should be doing the mature responsible thing and not getting involved with other people.

NotMostPeople Fri 29-Mar-13 07:47:37

Lets say the situation continues as it has been since Op an ex split up then of I were the OP I would be happy I'd maintained a good relationship with the ex so that the DD feels loved and not caught up in adult politics And kept a good friend. If I were the ex I be happy that I'd maintained a loving, close relationship with both children and feel the same as the OP. if I were the girlfriend I'd feel secure in the knowledge that I'd picked a great man who felt a deep commitment to his children and knew to out their need for a loving secure childhood first. If I were the children I'd feel loved.

I honestly don't see what's wrong.

YesIamYourSisterInLaw Fri 29-Mar-13 08:12:53

Cheerup why is it not proper boundaries to be friends with your ex?
If everybody was able to get on like op and her ex divorce might not affect so many children so badly.
It doesn't always have to be anger and hate

orangeandlemons Fri 29-Mar-13 08:28:54

Haven't read all of this, but whilst it's great that the op's daughter sees her dad a lot, I think it is odd that her parents still see each other a lot. Sorry but I do. It sounds like one of them hasn't fully accepted they are split up.

If I was the girlfriend in this...well I wouldn't be the girl friend, I wouldn't have got involved on this. I went out with some guy like this, who even shared the car with his ex wife? I thought it was a bit strange and thought he hadn't managed to make the break with his ex. I didn't continue the relationship

CloudsAndTrees Fri 29-Mar-13 08:54:15

As he does when she stays at his house. That still counts as seeing her dad. You make it out like he never sees her.

So the OPs dd only ever gets to see her Dad when her little brother is around, and when her Mum isn't? But the new baby gets to see both of his parents together on a daily basis, gets daddy time completely uninterrupted by his sibling, and that's supposed to fair? hmm

I don't think so.

Oblomov Fri 29-Mar-13 09:16:37

I think the gf has a valid point. But she expressed it badly. I do think the Op spends too much time with her ex. OP rang ex to see if he wanted to go to the cinema with Op and thier dd, and then ex rang Op to see if Op wanted to go to the cinema with him and thier dd. There are meal's and coffee's.

Why isn't ex spending more time just with his dd? On their own? Surely the whole point is that he does not live with his dd, but visits and has the so-called 'essential' one-to-one with her. Isn't that supposed to be crucial in building good solid relationship foundations.

Especially in seperated parents. (Even in our family, dh and I 'TRY' to spend some time, individually with both ds's)

No one needs to lose out here. DD will still see her dad. DD will not lose out, AT ALL. Will she? The only person who might spend a bit less time with ex is the OP. Surely this is only a minor thing, not a break-or-make thing.

Thus, in effect this is not such a major issue. Just a minor change in dynamics , now that ex is having a new baby with his gf, right?

CloudsAndTrees Fri 29-Mar-13 09:33:32

Except the DD will end up seeing her Dad less, no matter which way you look at it. She is a young school child, she only has so many hours in the day available to spend having quality time with her parents.

If she ends up spending more time alone with her Dad, she is obviously going to be spending less time with her Mum. How is that fair either, when both parents are happy to spend time together so that they both get to spend time with their dd. and more importantly, that their dd gets to spend more time with them.

It simply doesn't work to say that the Dad can still see his dd for the same amount of time as long as the OP isn't there. How is that supposed to work when she starts having after school teas at friends houses, or does extra curricular activities? Does she do all of those things as usual, then have the free nights with her Dad, and leave the OP to do nothing but bedtime and breakfast? All just to suit someone else whose interests clearly don't lie primarily with this child?

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Fri 29-Mar-13 09:37:35

So the OPs dd only ever gets to see her Dad when her little brother is around, and when her Mum isn't? But the new baby gets to see both of his parents together on a daily basis, gets daddy time completely uninterrupted by his sibling, and that's supposed to fair?

He is her sibling. Like it or not she will have to share her father. It's the way it works. My eldest now has to share me with his baby brother; it's not detrimental to his life at all.

And maybe, just maybe, the children SHOULD be together when spending time with their dad. Talk about alienating siblings right from the get go,

Hmmm, big thumbs up there! hmm

CloudsAndTrees Fri 29-Mar-13 09:41:44

That would be fine if it were the same for both children, but it's not going to be is it?

One child will get to see both of their children together and one of them won't. One child will get one to one time with their Father and one of them won't.

You really think that's not going to alienate siblings? hmm

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Fri 29-Mar-13 09:45:58

No I don't think it will alienate them at all.

The day's family unit is with his partner and his dd and their child. His dd should be encouraged to be very much a part of that.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Fri 29-Mar-13 09:46:21

dd's **

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Fri 29-Mar-13 09:46:46

Fucks sake.

Dad's **

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Fri 29-Mar-13 09:47:49

Also, the OP has a seperate family that their dd is a part of.

jchocchip Fri 29-Mar-13 10:02:17

So does dd get to spend alternate weekends with her dad and dad's new partner? Is she happy to be playing stepmum?

cheerup Fri 29-Mar-13 10:05:54

Proper boundaries mean that children can learn to understand that both their parents love them but are no longer together so spend time with them separately. They can then build independent relationships with each of their parents and adapt more easily to the inevitable changes in circumstances that having separated parents brings (like new partners, siblings etc). I'm not suggesting that the relationship should be acrimonious, just clear.

Family breakdown is rarely 'fair' on the children but that's not a new partner's fault.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 29-Mar-13 10:07:06

I agree with that, the older dd should very much be encouraged to be part of the family unit that exists between her Dad, her sibling, and her Dads partner.

But that doesn't have to be done to the detriment of the family unit that is most important to her, which is her Mum and her Dad and her. The two family units don't have to exist in complete isolation from each other to be right.

Mine doesn't. It's really not that difficult to have an extended family where all the children are considered equally, and all get to spend time with both of their parents together. Where's the harm in that? Except to the new partner that doesn't like it?

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Fri 29-Mar-13 10:21:42

Well, I guess I am going off personal experience that must prevent me seeing the bigger picture.

My SD has a family here and a family with her mum. She has siblings on both sides. In the time that her parents have been split she has seen two seperate families form before her and she has embraced it she truly has. As cheerup said, she has built independent lives with her parents, her life here is completely different to the the life she has with her mum. All of her siblings' parents are still together, but that doesn't bother her one bit.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 29-Mar-13 10:29:23

I'm sure your SD is perfectly well adjusted and happy, but I am speaking from personal experience too. Different things work for different people, and it seems that in OPs situation, the arrangement they have works for all except one person who is only thinking of themselves.

The fact is that if she has things the way she wants them, OPs dd will end up spending less time with one of her parents. And there is no good reason for that to have to happen.

BegoniaBampot Fri 29-Mar-13 10:31:37

The Op's main concern was about her missing her ex, their friendship, their time together etc. it wasn't so much about the daughter - read the OP. Realistically if the OP wanted that cosy family unit to stay forever then they shouldn't have split.

Things change when you split and nothing usually stayed the same no matter what. I've been through some big ups and downs in my marriage and one of the things that probably made us stick it out at times was having to deal with the fall out with splitting and how that would affect the kids and everything that would bring. I knew if we split things would never be the same, especially if we both went on to new partners, possible new children etc. isn't that just the way it usually goes?

CloudsAndTrees Fri 29-Mar-13 10:33:20

her life here is completely different to the the life she has with her mum. All of her siblings' parents are still together, but that doesn't bother her one bit.

I think this is the bit that makes me uncomfortable, and that situation is something my ex and I worked very hard to avoid for our children. We didn't want them to have to have two separate lives and two separate families. I as an adult wouldn't like to live like that, so there's no way I'd force that upon my child. I think it's better for children to grow up with all of ten significant adults in their lives to be singing off the same sheet. Consistency in rules and behaviour boundaries matters to children, they need to know where they stand. This is something that our family works on constantly, as I'm a stricter parent than my ex's new DP is with her own children, but we have both had to compromise.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 29-Mar-13 10:34:59

Things change Begonia, but the parents that two people are to their children doesn't have to change just because they aren't together anymore.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Fri 29-Mar-13 10:38:42

Okay I can see your point.

I do think though, their dd should be included in his new family unit as much as possible. Spend time with just her dad and his family and likewise with her mum. There could be a time when they want to something as a family without including dd's mum. It doesn't mean that her mum is any less important to dd, of course not. But like my SD, she will have to learn that dad has a life away from mum and this is his family, including her siblings, who I think is so majorly important that they form a bond with. The new sibling is his gf's child so his dd's mum shouldn't be involved in their family time.

But I know what you're saying. I really do. The above paragraph is just my take on it also.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 29-Mar-13 10:46:20

Spend time with just her dad and his family and likewise with her mum. There could be a time when they want to something as a family without including dd's mum

I agree with this too. smile This happens for my children in both 'sides' of their family.

I just think that can happen without the good relationship between the OP and her ex being destroyed. Them having a coffee together once a week and the occasional dinner together with their child doesn't prevent their child from learning that their parents have relationships with other people, and their other children.

cheerup Fri 29-Mar-13 10:49:53

I don't think that the new partner is only thinking of themselves - although as we only have the OPs point of view here, I may not be right. I think that the new partner, believes, as I do, that if a family has broken down (which it has, unfortunately, when parents no longer want to be together) it's better to be honest about it rather than pretending that nothing has changed.

I'm sure that my now dh's ex thought I was being like the OPs new partner not long after we first got together and I put my foot down about them meeting up with his parents together as a family when they visited. They weren't a family, otherwise he shouldn't have been with me. I certainly wouldn't have been happy to be treated/considered like their family's plus 1! It sounds as though others feel differently - good for them. In the case of the OP, I think that her ex really should have sorted all this out before his new partner got pregnant, as BegoniaBampot has put it "if they wanted the cosy family unit to stay together forever then they shouldn't have split." You can't have it every way.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Fri 29-Mar-13 10:55:47

Yeah I can see what you mean. Obviously there are some exceptions like going on holidays, I don't think I could deal with that. But a coffee or having tea together is a bit different. Like you say so long as the child recognises the other people important in mum/ dad's life, and wants to spend time with these significant people too, then that is okay.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 29-Mar-13 10:55:50

They are being honest about it and they are not pretending that nothing has changed!

The bit that hasn't changed is they they are both still parents to the same child!

And actually, you can have it every way if you put some effort into it an neither parent chooses to get together with someone else who doesn't agree. My ex's new partner is happy with the arrangement, and my DH is happy with the arrangement. Neither of us would have entertained a relationship that meant we had to stop the way we parented our children.

That's where the OPs ex has either made a massive mistake, or has been manipulated to within an inch of his life. If his GF said she was happy with the arrangement, he should have been able to trust that she was telling the truth. The fact that she has now changed her mind about what she is happy with just because she's pregnant is what makes me think she selfish and controlling.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 29-Mar-13 10:59:09

SoWhat, yes, I agree holidays are taking it a bit too far. Although I went on holiday with my ex before either of us found new partners, we wouldn't do it now. But at the time we just wanted to be able to have a holiday with our children, and as they were still small and it would have been hard work alone, it made sense to go together.

StanleyLambchop Fri 29-Mar-13 11:12:24

It simply doesn't work to say that the Dad can still see his dd for the same amount of time as long as the OP isn't there. How is that supposed to work when she starts having after school teas at friends houses, or does extra curricular activities? Does she do all of those things as usual, then have the free nights with her Dad, and leave the OP to do nothing but bedtime and breakfast? All just to suit someone else whose interests clearly don't lie primarily with this child?

But that is how it is with children whose parents are separated, they will never get the same amount of time with their parents as those who live with them full time. The separation was done several years ago, so she has never really known a time whan her parents lived together. So I doubt it is going to be so much of a massive change that her Mum m& Dad don't spend as much tiem together, as long as she still gets plenty of time with her Dad. She must be used to him having to leave and not be there all the time because they don't all live together anyway. I honestly can't see a problem with the DD, but I can see that the OP is not liking the shift in the relationship with someone she has known for so long, but then that is just life, things change.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 29-Mar-13 11:25:17

It's fine to say 'that's life and things change' if one of the parents is the instigator of that. It's not when things are being made to change because of a new partner.

Yes, a child of separated parents will spend less time with each of their parents than they would have one if their parents had been together. So isn't that all the more reason to maintain the time that child dies get with her parents? Doesn't it make it more important that time with her dad isn't limited any more than it already has been?

You say 'as long as she still gets plenty of time with her Dad' but what about her time with her Mum, considering that she will already spend a considerable amount of time asleep, at school, with friends, doing extra curricular activities that children do. There are only so many hours in the day, and I think it's important to make sure a child gets time with the absent parent without the result of that being that the resident parent ends up with nothing but school runs, cooking dinner, and the bedtime/morning routine.

KatyTheCleaningLady Fri 29-Mar-13 11:40:13

Women who pair up with men who already have children from a previous relationship, and then try to hoard all of his time, money, and energy for their own children really annoy me.

If you pick a man who already has kids, then you have to accept that a good portion of his time, money, and energy are already spoken for. You either be happy with what's left over, or you fucking figure out a way to share nicely.

I'm sick of reading accounts of possessive subsequent partners and their resentment of time and money spent on children had before they met. And, for what it's worth, I'm not sure I've ever met a second wife who says the maintenance her husband pays to the mother of his earlier children is fair.

Fucking stupid selfish cows.

cheerup Fri 29-Mar-13 11:44:31

Bitter and foul mouthed. Nice.

For what it's worth, I don't resent the maintenance my husband pays and am just relieved that his ex is a reasonable and pleasant person even if I don't want to go to the pictures with her.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Fri 29-Mar-13 11:46:34

Now now come on Katy we're not all like that honestly.

KatyTheCleaningLady Fri 29-Mar-13 11:54:13

cheerup, and SoWhat, I'm glad that you are not like that.

I'm not bitter, myself. I have no ex with kids or similar situation. It's just based on what I've seen in people around me, from relatives to acquaintances to people posting on internet forums. I am honestly saddened that so many women choose to pair up with a man who already has children and then, when they have children of their own, suddenly seem to see it all very differently. But, I don't think I should be shocked. Because, quite honestly, step-children are competition for our own. It's probably natural to feel that way. I suppose it's the basis of the "wicked stepmother" trope.

As for being chided over being "foul-mouthed..."

biscuit

brettgirl2 Fri 29-Mar-13 12:05:01

Yabu because rather than posting about it online you should be sitting down with both of them to work out a sensible workable solution.

riverboat Fri 29-Mar-13 12:07:19

I think this thread raises some interesting questions about what is best for the child after their parents separate.

It seems obvious that it is a good thing for a child with separated parents that these parents generally get on well, re-inforce each other's relationship with the DC, co-operate re parenting decisions and rules, are able to work out contact issues fairly and with the child’s best interests at heart etc.

But beyond that, is it beneficial  for the child to spend regular time with their parents both together? With or without stepparents and step/half siblings? If so, how much?

I don’t know what the answer to that question is, I’d be interested in any studies that have been done.

I wonder if a child spending regular 'family time' with it's separated parents might make it harder for that child to understand why his/her parents separated, or give them continuing hope that it's parents might get back together. Rather than enabling them to adapt to their parents living in separate homes, accept that they are separated, accept stepparents/stepsiblings etc.

Not sure, just wondering. DSS occasionally comes out with 'I wish you and mummy still lived together daddy' and sometimes I think it has a tendency to be said after, or sometimes during, one of the times when we have all been together (ie me and DP, ex and her DP, DSS and his step/half siblings) doing something. Not totally sure about this connection though - sometimes he barely seems aware that he has both parents together and is more interested in going off and playing with the other children. At other times he loves it and makes a big deal of having his mum and dad sat on either side of him at the table etc.

riverboat Fri 29-Mar-13 12:13:41

BTW, I think its perfectly natural that a child would fantasise about their separated parents getting back together. Just not a good thing for them to really keep hoping and believing it might happen.

cheerup Fri 29-Mar-13 12:29:57

Thank you Riverboat. You've expressed it much better than I could have but it was exactly what I meant about pretending things haven't changed and whether that's really the best way to approach it. For what it's worth, my own parents separated when I was 4. Even at that tender age, I could see it was for the best and I never felt like I was missing out on spending time with them together or fantasised about them getting back together.

RoomForASmallOne Fri 29-Mar-13 12:32:38

Hiding Nemo

Some of these posts are unreal!!

I think your set up with your ex is wonderful.... and you sound willing to make this all work by absorbing the new elements to your family.

My DCs have different fathers (both relationships long)
They are still part of our family and I find it bizarre anyone would consider it otherwise.

One we very rarely see (his own choice) but it does not negate his connection to us, or ours to him itms??

If we all want to work with our DCs best interests at heart (we all say it, some of us are lying tbh) then family is any and every one related to our DC's.

I hope the new partner cops on.
The two children share a father.... so he has to share and divide his time/attention etc between then equally.

Most things are fairly simple, really.

Agree totally with Solid

It's whinging.... pure nonsense.... grow up and deal with it. FFS. smile

Mia4 Fri 29-Mar-13 12:43:58

YANBU to feel saddened at the loss of time OP and your ExP must put DD still on equal priority as her-soon to be sibling but you may want to back off a bit in terms of seeing the ex so much with your daughter. Honestly your arrangement doesn't sound bad and i don't think you're one of these clingers on that wants their ex back (dad or mum) and uses the child to get at all, I don't think anything here has implied that, but I do think you have to remember that friends take a back seat slightly to any relatationship- not all the time, but it's the partner taking priority, especially when pregnant.

And you are friends now, and your DD can see her dad with you present a bit but it won't hurt to see less with you and more just together.

It's a shame it has to be this way but perhaps it's just a temp measure? It's up to you and your ex but personally for myself i'd back off a bit Just purely because you know how she feels, if the ex is telling you then isn't that his way of saying 'we need to back off a bit' even if he is adding an excuse to it and unfair as it may seem as long as it's still fair on your daughter that's the main thing.

The new DP may be being completely unreasonable, there may be things we don't know of not hearing her side or it may be pregnancy hormones but personally i'd back off a bit, insist on an equal level of time for DD and still some time as a unit-just not as much- because i would want to be seen to be trying to help them through this difficult period, rather then there being any way possible of anyone saying 'she was in the way'.

You need to speak to your ex though. IT is his choice and responsibility as to what happens here, not yours or the DP. Technically he calls the shots. You can back off a bit, so he doesn't have to make such a firm choice but ultimaely he should be making it. I just wonder if the way in which he told you wasn't his way of making it and satying he and DD need to spend more time with hi partner, without you.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 29-Mar-13 13:44:12

Riverboat, you are right, it is interesting and it would be fascinating to see a study where the outcomes of various family set ups could be compared.

I don't think it will always occur to younger children that it would be nice for them if their parents were together. For many children whose parents separated when they were young, their reality is that parents don't live together. They don't know I any different. I think they can start to question why their parents don't live together when they start to realise that many families do have it's parents living together, but by that age you would hope that they feel secure enough in their own situation that its not actually going to upset them, and they are likely to have been introduced to all sorts of family set ups by that age anyway. There is no reason that they should feel different in this age where so many families are separated.

My parents separated when I was young, and I never thought about them being back together. It never occurred to me. I can remember once wishing that my Dad was there when my friend had both her mum and Dad there at a school thing and I only had my Mum, but separated parents often do those things together now anyway.

riverboat Fri 29-Mar-13 14:04:36

Cloud - my DSS was less than 1 when his parents split, so his 'normal' has always been them living apart. Apparently it wasn't until he started school that he started to make comments about wishing his mum and dad were together - so I think this was where he realised for the first time that his situation was not the norm.

Obviously I don't know for sure, but I don't think it plays on his mind about them getting back together. Its just the odd wistful comment very occasionally. Once after such a comment his dad said 'what about your stepsister and half sister at mummy's, and what about riverboat and DSP, you like having them around dont you?' he got very thoughtful and hatched a plan whereby I marry his mum's DP and we all live in adjoining houses!

CloudsAndTrees Fri 29-Mar-13 14:09:29

Ahh, that's very sweet!

Don't you see though that a small child wouldn't need to come up with such a plan if both of their parents spent time together regularly, including other partners and siblings?

If the norm was that separated parents still spent time together, then children might wish for more time like that, but they wouldn't end up wishing for something they never get.

riverboat Fri 29-Mar-13 15:45:54

But we do do that, Clouds. Not every week, but about every couple of months we all (DP, me, DSS, his mother, her DP, their DC and DSC) have a BBQ, or a trip somewhere, or do a big lunch, or end up at the same mutual friends party...I think DSS likes these times but he doesn't specifically ask for more of them AFAIK.

SawyerHuckleberry Fri 29-Mar-13 16:05:52

I think some of you would only be happy if someone truly hated their ex, couldn't imagine being in the same room as them let alone share a coffee together.

Wonder if anyone noticed that Nemo has long since left this thread...

SawyerHuckleberry Fri 29-Mar-13 16:10:20

I do think though, their dd should be included in his new family unit as much as possible. Spend time with just her dad and his family and likewise with her mum. There could be a time when they want to something as a family without including dd's mum

But sowhat I mean this in a kind way because I have never had to deal with this sort of situation and maybe you have .... so have perhaps let that stop you from having an open mind.

You seem to have concluded that the OP will never let her DD see her dad without her there or expects them to do things all 5 of them together all the time. When I do not think for one second that is the case.

You are coming across as slightly mean (sorry) and I'm not surprised the OP has left.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Fri 29-Mar-13 16:40:48

Sawyer, all I was saying is that the OP's dd should be included in her dad's family unit as much as possible to make sure that she bonds with dad's partner and her sibling. Do things as a family that maybe he would have done with his ex but this week he doesn't want that and wants to spend time with his gf, his dd and the child he and his gf have together. I don't think the OP wants to prevent this happening, I was merely pointing out the importance of OP's ex including his daughter in his new family unit so that she doesn't feel excluded. But yes I think their daughter should spend time with her dad's family which wouldn't include her mum.

StanleyLambchop Fri 29-Mar-13 17:26:25

Wonder if anyone noticed that Nemo has long since left this thread...

I think she was surprised that not everyone agreed with her POV. Actually, it seems to be about a 50/50 split of opinion, so obviously not a clear cut situation.

I'm still surprised that some posters think there is no middle ground between hanging out with the ex and hating the ex. If you really want an amicable co parenting situation you have to take into account new partner's sensibilities.

Fleecyslippers Fri 29-Mar-13 18:25:51

Oh Stanley. You make me laugh. Perhaps Nemo has not bothered replying because she's had her opinion and feelings validated by lots of people who agree that the insecurities of new girl on the block really can't be allowed to lob a hand grenade into a really stable and secure co parenting arrangement.......

expatinscotland Fri 29-Mar-13 18:26:35

'Neither of us would have entertained a relationship that meant we had to stop the way we parented our children.

That's where the OPs ex has either made a massive mistake, or has been manipulated to within an inch of his life. If his GF said she was happy with the arrangement, he should have been able to trust that she was telling the truth. The fact that she has now changed her mind about what she is happy with just because she's pregnant is what makes me think she selfish and controlling. '

And it's up to him to put a stop to it. He shouldn't even have brought this up with the OP, 'She says blah blah blah,' but showed some backbone. I mean, anyone with a spine would have dumped her at 'that would be weird,' because it didn't seem so to him or his child.

So if she's selfish and controlling, he's yet another lily-livered prat.

StanleyLambchop Fri 29-Mar-13 18:49:21

Fleecyslippers

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

Glad I make you laugh though. grin

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Fri 29-Mar-13 19:01:56

The OP's DD WILL see less of her dad if he isn't popping in for a coffee a couple of times a week, or dinner once a week, or occasionally going to the cinema with her mum and her dad.

Most of these times are times when she would ONLY be seeing her mum if they stopped.

So it stands to reason that if they stop, she sees less if her dad.

That's not rocket science.

So, by stamping her feet about this, the Ex's new GF is going to be cutting down the amount of times in a week the OP's DD sees her dad.

Which is unfair on the little girl at the centre of this who has never known any differently.

If it is all she has ever known, then surely she is going to feel that SHE has done something to upset daddy and that's why he doesn't want to see HER so much.

No amount of explaining that her mum and dad aren't in a relationship any more is going to change that feeling - she was too young when they split up to know any different, they've never been 'together' on that way to her, yet suddenly daddy stops coming in for coffee etc.

I foresee a little girl trying to pull her daddy into the OP's house, in tears, asking him to read her a story / see her new toy / look at her picture / look at her certificate, and daddy saying no.

And that won't hurt a child?!

I can't understand how people think it won't.

And the DD DOES get 'family time' with her dad and his new GF, and by extension will get that with her new sibling, but that shouldn't mean that she shouldn't get the little bit of 'family time' with both her mum and dad together that she currently gets TOO.

It's a quick coffee at pick up / drop off, a dinner a week, and the odd meal out. Why is that wrong for the OP to wish that to continue, when the alternative is an upset child asking her why not?!

And WTF do you say when it stops and it's all she's ever known?

This new GF's jealousy IS going to hurt this little girl, AND limit the time she gets to spend with her father there. Selfish.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Fri 29-Mar-13 19:07:03

Thisisaeuphemism - nope, the new partner needs to think about the CHILD's sensitivities. The new partner is the one rocking the boat, that the OP, her Ex AND their DD were all happy with, and only the new partner isn't.

So it's HER who needs to adapt to the situation.

StanleyLambchop Fri 29-Mar-13 19:16:51

I foresee a little girl trying to pull her daddy into the OP's house, in tears, asking him to read her a story / see her new toy / look at her picture / look at her certificate, and daddy saying no.

That is all just your opinion, you have absolutely no idea if that will be the case or not!

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Hear, hear SGB

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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 :-)

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....

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...

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

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.

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.

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.

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!

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

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!

It doesn't have to be one or the other

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

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

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