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tomorrow I hand over my children to the OW for the first time

(1000 Posts)
chocoreturns Sat 26-Jan-13 22:44:42

I don't know what else to say, just need a hand hold tonight.

OW and STBXH are now house hunting 15 mins from my house, and spending EOW with my baby and DS. They have been lying about her being there right up until today. I finally reached the end of my tether, while listening to DS1 tell me all about house hunting with OW all day, having been told he was with only his dad and granny.

So I called STBXH and told him I'm over it, it's time to stop pretending I'm an ogre who can't bear to meet her, and to bring her to handover. If she's going to be on my doorstep and having my children in her home, I need to know who she is. She took my baby DS2 swimming with his dad today - it was his first swim. I am far beyond anger now and I'm just sad about it all sad

Not sure what to say to her, but I would like to take her to one side when STBXH is putting the kids in the car, and say look - I know you and I aren't going to be friends, but my children are my priority, and I need to know they are safe and happy when they're not with me. If you ever don't know what to do, or you're on your own with them and you think they need me, please know that it's ok to call me and I'll be fine with you. Then give her my number.

Is that mad? Or sensible and mature?

This is a moment I need a mumsnet straw poll sad

kickassangel Sat 26-Jan-13 22:46:43

It sounds sensible and mature but I have never been in your position. Hope it goes OK for you

ecuse Sat 26-Jan-13 22:49:07

Sensible and mature. How it goes down will depend on whether she is too.

GroupieGirl Sat 26-Jan-13 22:51:03

That sounds very sensible indeed. Good luck!

Wereonourway Sat 26-Jan-13 22:51:34

I think it's bloody marvellous of you op, very sensible and brave.

I can't imagine how you are feeling, how old are the dc??

ProphetOfDoom Sat 26-Jan-13 22:51:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ratbagcatbag Sat 26-Jan-13 22:53:26

Sounds really sensible. If it helps (or maybe not) ten years ago I was the OW, my now DH ex obviously found it difficult to start with, but ten years down the line she appreciates what I do for her ds, and she is one of my best friends now. Maybe not for you, but if you start off being reasonable (although you owe them nothing) that it makes it more likely she will respond maturely too.

NippyDrips Sat 26-Jan-13 22:54:28

I agree with all the above. Your children are very lucky to have a mother who is ready to put them first to that extent.

MrsTomHardy Sat 26-Jan-13 22:54:45

Sounds sensible to me.
I have been in a similar position (not OW but new gf) and I insisted I met her after xp had gone behind my back and they had gone out for the day with my 12 month old DS after telling me he wouldn't introduce DS to her for at least 6 months (he told me this the week before the day out) ...I was livid...
But she did come to my door, and it was fine if a little awkward.

VBisme Sat 26-Jan-13 22:55:07

It sounds incredibly sensible and mature, I was never the OW, but I'd have liked DHs ex to have that kind of chat with me.

gwenniebee Sat 26-Jan-13 22:55:37

"Gracious" was the word that sprung to mind with me, too, Schmaltzing. I feel really sad about you missing your baby's first swim. It sounds like you are being incredibly selfless about this. Good luck.

chocoreturns Sat 26-Jan-13 22:56:31

my two DS are 2, and just 7mo. They had their affair when I was pregnant with ds2 so he is a baby despite it being a year now since we split. I know she's prob destined for some hard work as a stepmum so I want to do everything I can to ensure my babies are happy and safe. It's sickeningly hard sad

tribpot Sat 26-Jan-13 22:56:35

It will be wilfully misinterpreted by them, choco, because they are not sensible and mature.

They have bullied you into accepting this by simply ignoring the restrictions you had wanted placed around ds2's early contact with his dad. You're right in that there's no point fighting it but you also need to fight the tendency to be controlled by him because of your sense of guilt or desire to make peace.

I would limit yourself to making sure in front of her that your ex has all your contact details and then telling ds1 to have a lovely day.

And if you happened to be thinking of saying 'perhaps you'd like to shag my husband in this house of mine as well?' know that the whole of MN would stand behind you and cheer if you actually did it grin

chocoreturns Sat 26-Jan-13 23:00:24

haha trib you just made me actually smile about it grin I shall put your straw in the 'mad' pile. I've missed your advice x

I think it is gracious and poised and I am very afraid that tribpot is right. I would want to do it, I think. . . heartbreaking .

DoubleYew Sat 26-Jan-13 23:16:44

They sound like dicks, lying to you. I wouldn't try and talk to her on her own as it will be twisted into something else. I bet he will be careful it doesn't happen incase you had the chance to tell her some home truths, as he's probably been lying to her too.

Have you got a contact agreement? You can ask for a clause that if ex is not available to look after them they should be with you (right of first refusal). She shouldn't be on her own with them imo, maybe in the future one day if it lasts but not at 2 and 7mo.

Good luck. I've chosen not to meet her as I think it's more for ex's benefit than mine.

chocoreturns Sat 26-Jan-13 23:20:14

I think I will do it, not because I have any evidence that it will be well received but because I want to be true to myself. And because I think it is the right thing to do.

I guess I have reached a point where I know that absolutely nothing I would like to happen is going to, so all I have left is my integrity - and I may as well do the best I can to be the kind of person I want myself and my children to be, regardless of the circumstance.

Obviously the temptation to call her every name under the sun is going to be violently strong. But while I may not be able to shame him, I think part of me is hoping I will be able to shame her a little too, by being a better person than either of them are capable of.

chocoreturns Sat 26-Jan-13 23:22:04

It wouldn't be properly on our own, he will be in earshot, but will have his hands full...

this just isn't going to be a good experience no matter which way I imagine it.

BerylStreep Sat 26-Jan-13 23:38:21

No advice, just a hand hold.

At least you aren't running around dropping off and sitting in restaurants any more.

tribpot Sun 27-Jan-13 00:03:13

I will assume by 'mad' you mean soundly-based and sensible, choco wink

My only concern is that it will be twisted in such a way as to create more drama and work for you. Absolutely being polite-but-distant is the right approach to take, friendly enough to reassure ds1 and so that you can know in yourself you've behaved irreproachably.

But they will be looking to use this, in the power play. And it's very hard for you to opt out of that entirely as a conscientious objector. My concern is that your words will be thrown back as indicating that you are seeking to undermine her step-parenting at the very first opportunity and blah-blah-bloody-blah. As you may have gathered, your ex isn't too fussed about what's actually true. Keep your powder dry; there's worse to come with this pair. "To say nothing, especially when speaking, is half the art of diplomacy." (Will Durant).

DontEvenThinkAboutIt Sun 27-Jan-13 00:26:57

I think it is a good plan. It won't be easy though. The situation is what it is and you have to make the best of it for your DCs sake. Over time it will I hope get better.

I would not make a big deal of it (outwardly at least). I would not say anything like 'I know we will never be friends...' Just be polite and 'neutral' (IYSWIM) She may end up playing a significant part in your DC's life's and the less confrontation the better.

It really is best if you can all at least be polite to one another. I read threads on here where there is so much hatred between people in these situations even years after couples have seperated.

(obviously, it is completely understandable to feel nothing but contempt for them - nobody would blame you for that )

Good luck. I hope it goes well. I really respect you for trying to do the right thing.

In years to come, you will be glad that you were gracious about it. Because there may well come a time when you feel happy that your DC have an additional adult in their lives who loves them. Additional adults who are basically nice people (obviously this doesn't apply when they are abusive or neglectful) are always a benefit for DC.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sun 27-Jan-13 00:33:12

I think you are being very sensible and mature. Remembering it is your DC's that are the most important helps.

I can understand how hard it must be to cope with, its something I am dreading with me and Ex, but I know it is inevitable, and hope that I am as gracious when the time comes.

EnjoyResponsibly Sun 27-Jan-13 00:46:59

OMG I think you are awesome.

But that is because I have no dignity and would want to reach down and rip out their hearts for the swimming thing alone.

Just saying could be a little overwrought

or not

chocoreturns Sun 27-Jan-13 01:10:06

Well, I am completely unable to sleep tonight, what a surprise. Having decided to be gracious my brain keeps rehearsing the alternatives...

Currently, opening the door with the DC in another room, and icily suggesting she apologises to me for her behaviour seems to be my furious subconcious' favourite option.

Alternatively, beaming at her as I hand over my baby and saying 'I do hope you remember this moment when you are pregnant with his third child, you vile bitch'.

It would certainly be easier if I didn't want to give her a metaphorical punch in the gut. I suspect that getting through the 3 minutes the whole episode will take, and NOT being an utter bitch myself is going to be UNBELIEVABLY hard. <practicing smiling in a distant and detatched manner while thinking fuck them both> sad

Am off to re-read my blog post from last year ('guess how much I love you') because I can't switch off this angry, angry voice in my head no matter what I try.

Thank you for the hand holding sad I really need it tonight.

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