Is my ex controlling or am I being unreasonable?

(7 Posts)
gus71 Thu 25-Apr-13 14:40:24

I have been separated for 2 years and now wish to introduce my girlfriend to my children (7 & 10).

FOR: 2 years is long enough for the children to adapt to the separation and get used to me living in another house. I have taken my time to get to know this woman, known her for 9 months, decided that it is getting serious and even had a couple of arguments so that I feel comfortable with all aspects of a relationship (I hasten to add that I didnt deliberately have an argument with her! What I mean is that I accept her shortfalls and she mine). I have actually started the introduction process and am going slowly - events with my brother and his family. All seems to be going well and I have tried to delve into my children's emotions to see if they are anxious or feel guilty and all the other potential pitfalls that psychologists highlight. So far though, the children are just children, no need for therapy just more toys please, and all is ok.....

AGAINST: My ex wants to control when and how I introduce the new girlfriend. I 'must' discuss the situation with my ex, is the new girlfriend serious? (I did see someone else in the first year of separation for a brief while, but the children were never introduced as the relationship didnt develop enough). This topic is a joint issue as it involves the children and as a major event in our children's lives I am not permitted to make unilateral decisions as to how and when I introduce a girlfriend. We have not Divorced yet and so we must sit down and discuss this with the children (I thought we had had that discussion 2 years ago. I admit that we may not have used the "D" word, but I thought we had discussed it on an age appropriate level rather than going into the details of decree nisi etc) they have not come to terms with the separation (no surprises there, but I strongly think they are experiencing normal desires for us to get back together rather than anything too extreme). I could go on but I feel there is a constant list of demands that I will never really satisfy.

Overall it seems to me that my ex wants me to put my life on hold until the divorce is complete, then there needs to be another period of adjustment for the children. If I go against the wishes of my ex then she will stop access to the children. If I comply with my ex, I will probably lose the girlfriend

Obviously, the welfare of my children is extremely important and I would not want to create confusion in their minds or upset them or accidentally drive some sort of wedge between them and their mum. But what should I do? I have told the Ex that I have a girlfriend, I dont mind being given some advice but surely its up to me now?

OldLadyKnowsNothing Thu 25-Apr-13 17:28:59

Yes, it's up to you now. She cannot dictate who you see, where you go, or what you do when the dc are with you. They are old enough to understand you don't live with mummy any more, and you sound like you're handling this reasonably.

If she's likely to withhold contact, it might be worth consulting a lawyer.

BabyHMummy Thu 25-Apr-13 21:19:14

She is being unreasonable. I can understand her having concerns about the new gf being involved with her kids so maybe arrange a meeting between them so she can see that she doesn't have 2 heads etc. I did this with my partners ex when i met his kids and although there are still issues its easier.

If she is threatening to withdraw access then i suggest you get your solicitor involved as unless there are any child protection issues she cannot do this.

She is using the kids to retain control of you.

Which of you instigated seperation and divorce? From her behaviour i would guess at you and this is her way of getting a little revenge

She's out of order. Up to you if you want to introduce your kids to anyone.

cjel Sun 28-Apr-13 19:01:36

I have seperated after DH had a girlfriend and the hurt of hearing about thier life and her place in his family was horrid and still is sometimes, but this new partner of yours had nothing to do with your split, your wife may still want you and hasn't worked on her feelings, I think she is being unhlepful and would also say that you should take legal advice, then point out to her that you have dcs best interests at heart and if she did would keep her feelings to herself and allow you all to move forward. Hope it goes well.

RedHelenB Sun 05-May-13 10:26:51

If you lose your girlfriend because she is not willing to wait then I don't think she is the one for you. Kids come first & you may think that all they are bothered about is toys but they are affected a lot more than people acknowledge.

Your children come first, is it really that difficult to go along with your ex re discussing the divorce together and waiting a bit longer before you introduce girlfriend.

However, you do need to make it clear that the children have a right to see you, that she cannot withold access on a whim.

Singledad5871 Mon 13-May-13 23:30:17

I can appreciate this - my ex left me to live with her new bf - initially I had full care if the kids then she tried to dictate when I was to have them. 2 years later after an ongoing court battle, I find my ex trying to control me through the kids (I have residency currently and she receives 2 nights overnight per month) by being obtrusive to me taking them on holidays, dictating how my girlfriend and her kids have to live their lives! When our Proof/residency battle was meant to have been finished by negotiation she waited 6 weeks before responding to offer ME a single midweek night and a Friday and Saturday! Even trying to dictate times and who gives dinner etc! The stress has started to affect my girlfriend and I's relationship as I find I started to hide things that were happening to try and not cause arguments with us. I'm attempting to remove myself from the hand overs as there is invariably conflict there -but she is being obstructive when I send my aunt?

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