single dad. advice on introducing kids to new girlfriend

(58 Posts)
paulos103 Mon 16-Dec-13 18:19:07

Hi all, single dad here looking for a bit of impartial advice as me and my ex are at loggerheads.

We separated earlier this year and we have 2 kids, a 7yo boy and a 4yo girl. We weren't married, not that I think that is relevant.

A couple of months ago I met a new girlfriend and we've become very close and I would say we are at the start of a serious and stable relationship. She's been divorced for a few years and has 3 teenage daughters who I've met and we all seem to get on well.

I have my kids 1 night midweek and most of the weekend so I'm now in a situation where I want to spend time with both the kids and my new girlfriend at weekends.

My ex is dead against this and has suggested we need to be together for a year before she'll let it happen. This sounds mad to me and I'm not prepared to go along with that.

With the Christmas break coming up, this seems to be a perfect time to introduce the kids to my girlfriend starting with a couple of short meetings on a neutral venue such as a soft play area and building it up from there.

This doesn't sound like I'm being selfish does it? I have my kids best interests at heart and wouldn't introduce them to someone I thought was just a casual fling, but I also have my life and happiness to think about as well.

Advice welcomed. Thanks

DarkKnight123 Thu 09-Jan-14 21:22:14

Hi Paulos - You have a partner and are part of a family, its natural that you would want your children to share in that. Personally, I think two months is a too soon, but your the parent and have to make the judgement call. The six month mark sounds to me about about right and you could use this time perhaps to plan a couple of one off outings where the kids and and you and your ptr meet up at say the bowling or wherever so they can slowly get used to each other.

bigfluffybum Thu 09-Jan-14 14:42:29

I think your ex is right, you need to think about the impact these this will have on your children.
you say

I'm now in a situation where I want to spend time with both the kids and my new girlfriend at weekends.

and also

but I also have my life and happiness to think about as well

It comes across to me that this is about what you want rather than thinking about what is best for your children. Also because of the fact that you have met your new gf's children after such a short amount of time, she obviously does not share your ex's view on things so you will probably be hearing from her that these views are unreasonable.
I agree with what others have said, your children will not want to share you at the moment and you need to consider things from their pov. If things are not dealt with properly it can cause a great deal of upset.

TwerkingNineToFive Wed 01-Jan-14 17:19:11

I agree 6 months at least. It's inconvenient for you but the kids come first and seeing their dad with a new woman could be upsetting for them.

Spero Wed 01-Jan-14 17:08:08

I agree with all who say six months minimum.

the new partner issue has potential to cause enormous problems. it is just not realistic or sensible to say that an ex should just 'grow up' or 'get over it', especially if the ex did not want the relationship to end. Introducing the children to the new partner can be incredibly fraught and needs to be handled sensitively.

after six months you have shown you are probably staying the course, it will be less confusing for the children if not introduced to a succession of short term partners AND you have great moral justification for gently pointing out to your ex that it is no longer his or her business.

AnnieOats Wed 01-Jan-14 17:03:56

Not really. Circumstances could have now changed and that's why he's wanting to introduce the children so that he can continue seeing his girlfriend.

But as the op hasn't come back we can only speculate.

Then you'd have to wonder how they even managed to get to the point where they have been together a couple of months and are very close, wouldn't you? If they got to that point without involving the children, it could carry on that way a while longer for the children's sake.

AnnieOats Wed 01-Jan-14 11:25:41

He could see the girlfriend on weekdays if his weekends were 100% full of children. Small sacrifice to make for a while to ensure the children aren't disrupted even more.

Assuming his girlfriend is free during the week. She might have her children during the week and be free at the weekend.

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 31-Dec-13 22:32:18

6 months after deciding to be serious would be my minimum.

He could see the girlfriend on weekdays if his weekends were 100% full of children. Small sacrifice to make for a while to ensure the children aren't disrupted even more.

AnnieOats Tue 31-Dec-13 15:27:05

I'm a bit on the fence here. I would say it's too early but we don't know how much child free time the OP gets. If when he says that he gets then most of the weekend it means Friday to monday every weekend then I can see that it would be difficult for him to spend time with a girlfriend without the children being there.

On the other hand if he has them only 1 evening every weekend or has them every other weekend then I think he should wait a few months before introducing them as he's still able to see his girlfriend when the children aren't with him.

If the OP just wants to introduce them so that they can all do things together then he needs to think hard about who will benefit from this because I don't think it will be the children as I'm sure they will find it hard to share their dad with someone else.

screamadelica Fri 27-Dec-13 12:28:40

Hi, my ex introduced his new partner to my daughter. Sadly it caused her months of anxiety and upset. She was 10 at the time.
My dd will only tolerate her now. I think she felt abandoned by her dad and then he goes and brings his new gf into the picture....only ever thought of himself and how to get at me.
She didnt see her again for months. When she did her older brother was with her.
My advice tread very carefully the implications are massive for a child and once damage is done it will be very hard to undo.

MissWinter01 Sun 22-Dec-13 20:40:27

Personally I think it's a bit too early. I would wait until around the 6 month mark and if you think things are going well would introduce the "girlfriend" as a friend. I don't think your children need to know she is your girlfriend immediately. This way you can see how they get on etc and after a few months you could tell your children you are a couple...

Whether your ex agrees or not it isn't actually up to her who spends time with your children while they are in your care and vice versa.

Good luck

honey86 Fri 20-Dec-13 00:47:22

what gin said. x

girliefriend Thu 19-Dec-13 16:11:11

I think a year too long, not realistic to never see your girlfriend at the wend.

Two months not long enough.

So somewhere around 4-6 months I would say.

Agree with pp about needing to know your new partner will get on with the kids to know if the relationship will work long term and unfortunately there is no way of doing this without them meeting the children.

I am a lone parent and have just started seeing someone and even though I would love to leave it a year before introducing him to my dd its just not realistic. For a start I am not getting any younger and if I want to have more kids need to get a move on grin also I have my dd all the time with no break so its extremely difficult to see him at all.

That said 3 months is my minimum before introducing them.

Monetbyhimself Thu 19-Dec-13 15:56:28

I think you're right Gin. And I rather suspect he's going to do what he and the girlfriend want anyway. To hell with the children and the Ex. All so depressingly familiar.

GinAndIt Thu 19-Dec-13 10:43:09

I don't think the OP is coming back. Probably because we all told him something he didn't want to hear.

Oh FFS you two, take it outside

Preciousbane Wed 18-Dec-13 18:46:46

I would say at least a year, seriously.
The few months after a relationship break up are traumatic and I think many of us are vulnerable post break up even if we think we are ok.

I actually think the worse possible time would be Christmas.

TalkativeJim Wed 18-Dec-13 18:41:27

This is the first Christmas your children won't have their daddy at home.

At the very least, PLEASE don't introduce your new gf over Christmas.

I'd say 6 months is the MINIMUM.

You may not like it and I can see why. But if you really think this is the one, then think long term. Right now, for your children this is all new. If you want you relationship with them to be strong, you need to focus as much as you can on them just AS A DAD - one on one - just you and them.

Not you, them and suddenly some total stranger smiling at them from the sofa next to their dad.

It WILL NOT be what they want, no matter how much you think it will be good. It WON'T BE at first. The longer you wait and the more time you concentrate JUST on them at contact, the more secure they will be and the more accepting they will be able to be.

A couple of months is MASSIVELY too soon.

NigellasDealer Greece Wed 18-Dec-13 18:37:11

i havent called anyone a 'bitch' love

MincedMuffPies Wed 18-Dec-13 18:33:35

I understand why your doing this, it's horrible when your wrong and you keep digging that hole deeper to make yourself in the right. Is so much easier to just say oh yes that didn't come out quite right didnt mean to be so rude.

NigellasDealer Greece Wed 18-Dec-13 18:30:19

gosh you really are a sweetie aren't you?

MincedMuffPies Wed 18-Dec-13 18:28:40

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

NigellasDealer Greece Wed 18-Dec-13 18:23:28

"Oh I'm not being rude"
well you are actually muffpie.
what happened to your husband ? did he wake up one morning in the cold light of day and run away screaming ?

onedev Wed 18-Dec-13 18:22:18

I'd say it's too soon Op, sorry! Totally agree with others that if the relationship is going to last, then there's no rush. Given the age of your DC & the fact that it's their first Christmas after the break up, I honestly think you need to put them first & solely focus on them for the holiday period. Your new partner should understand.

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