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ExP taking DC on holiday to Spain with new Gf - wwyd?

(86 Posts)
OliviaMMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 22-May-13 21:19:10

Hello MNers,
I am posting on behalf of a RL friend so be frank but polite please:

Ex is planning to take the Primary age DC away in summer to Spain for a week, which I am very happy about, as they will have fun. My problem is that his girlfriend of 2 years is going. I have asked to meet her for the last two years. I have sent her message/ e mail, I have always been polite. She refuses to meet me. As a result of this I have refused to hand over the passports until I meet her. Am I doing the right thing?

TIA

MirandaWest Thu 23-May-13 07:15:39

My XH has a gf of three years now. The DC have met her and her DC lots of times whereas I haven't. I presume we will meet one day but if XH, his gf and the DC were to go away together I wouldn't insist on meeting her as I trust XH to have found a reasonable adult to go out with and also the DC at 9 and 7 like her and are happy with her.

There would be a problem with passports as they don't have any at the moment so I think I'd ask him to pay half but apart from that tbh it isn't really up to me to meet her I don't think.

Facepalmninja Thu 23-May-13 07:16:49

Hi Olivia, your friend needs to step back and take a long hard look at why she is feeling like she does. She has no control over anyone else apart from herself. If there I'd a child protection issue then that would be an entirely different kettle of fish, as it is its her childrens father with his steady girl friend. She should be happy that her dc will have a lovely time with two adults looking out for them!

I really can't believe that people think that they are entitled to dictate who their children are with when they are with the other parent, especially if that other parent is in a 'new' relationship. Getting furious because ones ex has moved on is one thing (although its best to keep that a private emotion, it is nothing to do with him iykwim), trying to control him is quite another!

I do empathise with the situation, it's such a hard one, if it were my friend I'd be nodding (acknowledging her feelings) and hugging her but if she wanted my opinion I would be saying just what I have....and probably say to her to make sure that she can phone her dc everyday (not just before bed time though) whilst her dc are away and to have lots of 'me' time for her set up, meals out with friends, nice long quiet walks or even a mini trip away.
But keeping hold of passports in this instance is just mean and churlish.

Fragglewump Thu 23-May-13 07:26:51

Well if you have children and then split up you will have to deal with situations like this and many more tricky ones....I still struggle with some things nearly 8 years on. Sadly your friend is being a control freak albeit understandable as we mums can be slightly tigress like when it comes to our dcs. My exDh got to the point where it was a little embarrassing as the kids had met a few girlfriends. I.e. daddy do you remember that girl who came to Spain with us what was her name? And then abi was with us when we had a puncture wasn't she? Etc. personally I would be pleased that a gf of 2 years is a stable influence in my dcs life and swallow my need to control, buy them something nice to take on their hols and line up loads of fun for myself while they are away! That's the most important bit IMO! It's also worth remembering that it will be much more scarey for new gf to meet you than the other way around as he had chosen to have children and build a life with you and not her yet. Try to be a decent grown up - my dcs would be heartbroken if I held their passports hostage and stopped them going on holiday. So I just wouldn't bother!

Dadthelion Thu 23-May-13 08:31:00

Is it in the children's best interests to stop them going on holiday?

Would it be ok for your friends ex to insist on meeting future partners?
And to cause problems if it's not allowed?

In my eyes withholding passports and threatening to stop children from going on holiday for a week (a week not forever!) is abusive behavior.

ticktocktammy Thu 23-May-13 16:07:06

sounds like shes jealous... might be best to grit teeth, smile and wish her DS a wonderful hols.
also if she refuses, child father can stop them going on holiday as (unless she has a residency order) she needs his permission. might be better not to start a tit-for-tat fight the main outcome of which will be to stop DS having jolly holidays
btw is there are reason why shes refused to meet her though? seems a bit extreme too. is there a problem between them (sorry is somewhere else in thread)

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 24-May-13 15:03:23

Hi Olivia, how is your friend? Has she decided what she's going to do yet?

littlemissgiggles79 Fri 24-May-13 15:31:27

What if this lady gets a new bf or dh of her own. Presumably she will expect her EXH to accept another man living with and raising his children permanently and not just for a week.

Dahlen Fri 24-May-13 15:49:14

In an ideal world this wouldn't even arise as an issue because everyone would behave maturely and have met a while ago. It's not at all unreasonable for the mum in this question to want to meet the GF.

However, neither is it at all unreasonable for the dad to want to take his DC away on holiday without needing permission from the mum about who he allows them to see on that holiday.

If the dad in question is a generally decent person who can be trusted to look out for his DC's welfare, I think the mum should trust his judgement and let the DC go without a fuss.

Just as an aside, has the mum in question asked herself if she's truly acting on the DC's best interests here or whether it's about what she feels. I'm not implying for a minute that this is about control or punishment, as I'm assuming after two years or more that any bad feeling has died down. I wonder instead if it's a case of subconsciously feeling that letting her DC go off with a woman she's never met is a reflection on her as a mum. Or wanting to meet the GF because the fact that it hasn't happened may lead people to judge her as being the stereotypical evil ex.

IF there's any of that going on, I'd point out that bar a full CRB check and extensive interviewing, one meeting is unlikely to reveal anything about the GF's suitability to take the DC away, the GF doesn't have responsibility for the DC on holiday, the dad does, and who cares what anyone else thinks anyway.

My advice to the mum would be to let them go. My advice to the dad would be FGS try to convince your GF to meet your DCs mum - it will make for far more harmonious relationships all round, particularly for the DC.

simplesusan Fri 24-May-13 16:07:53

I can understand your friend and ideally all adults should have met.
However I really don't think she can withold the passports.

RabbitFromAHat Fri 24-May-13 16:09:06

What is the meet up 'for' though?

If your friend doesn't like or approve of the new girlfriend, what difference does it make as long as her ex is a competent parent?

She WBU to even contemplate withholding passports.

OliviaMMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 25-May-13 00:06:53

Sorry not to update earlier
My friend was v grateful for help - she knows in her heart witholding the pps wasn't right.
Think she will push again as per the email suggestion and then just go with flow
Thanks again all.

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