Feeling invaded by Skype - ex's new partner talking to my children!

(32 Posts)
ThinkingItThrough Tue 01-Jan-13 23:40:48

Hi - Just wondered how other people cope with their ex contacting their children by Skype. Mine are 15, 12 and 7 and have just started using it to talk to their father. Things are very acrimonious between ex and myself. All the children are ours between us - we had a 16 year relationship that ended 18 months ago. But he has recently started seeing someone who I feel has pushed very quickly for contact with my children. This has caused the relationship between me and my ex to deteriorate further and faster.

Tonight he initiated a Skype call at 9.30pm with my 12 and 7 year old. It stopped them going to bed for another 40 minutes and during the call he put the new partner on screen to chat with them. I am afraid I felt very invaded at that point and asked my son to terminate the call and speak to his father when he is alone tomorrow. Am I being really unreasonable here? I am not trying to restrict my children's access to Skype their father but my gut feeling is that there should be ground rules about time and also that it is out of order for the new partner to come uninvited into my home (albeit virtually!) and interact with my children during my time with them. Am I wrong to feel invaded by this or am I being unreasonble in censoring the children's contact? Should I just put my feelings aside and accept this? All views very welcome!!!

WildWorld2004 Wed 02-Jan-13 23:51:15

I feel for you all. My ex couldnt even manage to pick up the phone once a fortnight never mind skype or facetime.

Why more often than not do people cast their children aside when they get a new partner? That makes me so sad.

monstermissy Thu 03-Jan-13 00:16:04

Op are you me?

I'm 18mths out of a 16 year relationship. Ex got his new gf on Skype at the weekend, kids want to see more if him but he only opts for twice a month otherwise he only gets time for 'work and kids' and nothing else (err what do you think I do with my life). He intoduced kids to gf after two weeks, moved in with her after four weeks and got engaged about four months in. It's now only six months old. I'm angry as the kids have had no time to adjust to anything before he's dropping some more 'great news'. My problem isn't with her tho she sounds ok and the kids seem to like her so I'm happy about that, its just utter disregard for them and his selfish 'I want to sod everyone else' attitude.

I'm told I just have to suck it up tho. (His bad attitude to maintaining a good relationship with the kids not the gf, she's alright tho it took a while to get to this point)

balia Thu 03-Jan-13 10:42:48

As a stepmum, I'm usually pretty impatient with threads that try to limit the relationships between DC's and their wider family, including step, but I'm with you here, OP, I would find that incredibly invasive. I suppose the best you can hope is that she's young and trying a bit too hard to get on with the DC's?

You mention, though, that this is symptomatic of the acrimonious relationship between you and ex - would mediation help?

ThinkingItThrough Thu 25-Apr-13 20:02:58

A huge and very belated thankyou to absolutely everyone who replied to this after my last messages. I work FT and 3 chn so didn't realise that new posts had been added - sorry for the lack of feedback. It is good for me to have points from those who don't agree as well. I do understand that my reaction is partly because I am stressed about the whole situation and wish ex-partner was still here in the family not with a new woman. If that makes me bitter then I am sorry but I am only human. Letsmakecookies, you are so right - It is so hard to be rational and objective and do the right thing when you are being tested beyond anything you ever thought possible.

This boundary of not having ex's new partner Skyping into my home feels to me to be about maintaining a sense of self and some privacy. Sofia is right that I am older than ex's new partner and I don't use Skype myself.

I see it is great for the children and have said to their father that it is fine for the younger two for half an hour once a week as a session in their rooms - so they can look forward to it as a regular slot - but he doesn't want it 'controlled' in this way, he just wants to pop up as and when. I find that a real invasion.

It happened again tonight which is why I came back to look at this thread. NilentSight - you are so right about it being a control tool. I am not welcome at his new home, I have never been to his new partner's home, though he was skyping from there tonight. So why can he not respect that this is my personal space and so is hard for me. If my ex genuinely wanted just to communicate with the children, why not Skype alone or if new partner walks into the room by accident, have them just wave and walk off or something. If it is really just about the children why does he not take his iPhone/iPad somewhere private? She actually has children herself so I would have thought might understand this.

Tonight was another 'joint session' from them sitting together to Skype all three of our children. But he children are only really interested in relating to their father so I suspect he was making a point to them and me by the joint appearance. They announced engagement this week (the children have been really upset. Also he stopped paying any child maintenance back in Feb - my eldest tells me he has no money because he has to pay for a big wedding - family tell me she is sporting a big ring!). I still want the children to have contact though - it is not their fault, they still need their Dad but maybe a bit of this back story explains why the joint Skyping hits such a raw nerve.

This post has given me so much to thing about, both on the first occasion and now. And I seem to have found a doppelganger in MonsterMissy - scary but comforting that others have had this happen and are coping. Double Yew and Chipping really hit the mark , also Wildwood, I am trying to count my lucky stars for the children's sake that he still wants contact but find a way through that we can live with.

Thanks All!

clam Thu 25-Apr-13 21:15:56

Just seen this. I would be hopping mad in your shoes. I'm no stranger to modern technology, but it pisses me off when, chilling in the comfort of my own home with my family (even if we're in different rooms doing different things) I can hear loud exchanges between dd and her friend. If I've invited her round here, it's different - I suppose I've mentally prepared for visitors, but I'm not when it's just us here.

Add to that the sensitivities of a marriage break up and another woman on the scene and I'd not be happy at ALL. It's an invasion of your privacy and you're quite within your rights to alter the arrangement without damaging the tenuous relationship between your kids and their dad.

PurpleThing Fri 26-Apr-13 04:15:24

I think it is also a way of glossing over any guilt and responsibility they have for breaking the family up. "See we've all moved on, everything is fine", rather than giving everyone time to adjust as it is actually a big deal.

And call the CSA, please. Your children having given up eating now he's got a wedding to pay for, I suppose? He sounds very selfish. Being controlling (getting everything HIS way) is a symptom of that, as is accusing you of being controlling yourself if you stand up to him.

wellthatsdoneit Sun 12-May-13 22:23:18

I have had these feelings too ThinkingitThrough and you have my sympathies. I have told my ex that his phonecall/facetime contact is for the benefit of the children's relationship with their father. Added to that, this is my home, where I feel safe. I feel incredibly violated by the the things that my ex has done and it is hard enough to encounter his gurning mug on the iPad, but I suck it up as the children have a right to a relationship with their father. I cannot countenance his girlfriend's presence in my home though, virtually or otherwise. She is the person he left me for and she knew very well that he was married with two very small children so I'm afraid that there's no one on the planet that will convince that she has my children's best interests at heart.

It is not easy, and if they ever covered this bit of parenting in the ante-natal classes I must have missed that one.

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