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to blend or not to blend - that is the question!!!!!

(37 Posts)
8isgood Sat 20-Jul-13 12:32:24

brief background or will bore you all to tears.......
I seperated 2 years ago and divorced 10 months ago - very long marriage of 25 years with three children 17,14,10.
my new partner and I have been together 1 year. However we have known each other for nearly 20 years. He seperated from his wife 6 months or so before we got together and they are now going through a very messy divorce. he has 3 children too aged 13,10,6.
My partner and I live with my 3 children APART from when he has his children then he goes back to the rented house that he moved into when he seperated.
His STB Ex is the issue. She knows that we are together and does not want me to see their children. His boys do not even know that we are a couple or that their dad even has a GF as he is concerned about how they will take it and is frightened that they will not want to see him anymore. Each time that he tries to talk to his Ex she flares up and threatens to not allow the boys to see him.
I understand that it is perhaps still early days for her but they have been split up for 18 months and surely life for my partner must be allowed to continue. Surely she cannot dictate to him when he may be free to see someone. I understand that it was he who chose to leave the marriage and I know that like me he fought for a very long time to keep the marriage together for the sake of the children but eventually he thought the same as me "you only get one life - and what sort of messages are we showing our children about living in a loveless marraige" so he finally left. He was distraught at leaving the family home as he is really close to his boys and they adore him and love spending time with him.
However we are so desperately wanting to start the blending process of introducing me to the boys and then mixing the children together. We have empty bedrooms waiting for them for them and my children are so looking forward to meeting them.
How do we do this when their mother is so anti this????
We are both so upset at living this double life.
We are a couple yet when it comes to family/friends get-togethers/children's birthdays/my partners birthday/weekends/holidays we can't see each other or share these events as for us it's a NO GO situation. We have two lives going on really - one with my children and then him with his own ...........
interested to hear anyones thoughts/advice on this please.
Thanks

allaflutter Sat 20-Jul-13 23:07:04

I don't understand why would he lose his boys - surely they are grown up enough to WANT to see him, and that they love him, so if their mother wouldn't allow access, they'd kick up a fuss? I think she's bluffing re access.

Twinklestein Sat 20-Jul-13 23:32:44

He's been separated for a year and a half already (that's why I thought the process would be further along), wouldn't it be easier for just to accept he's going to have to go to court & get it over with?

I totally get that he wants to protect his kids, but their lives & yours are all in limbo until the divorce is settled.

I agree you can't wait another 2 years to meet his kids.

When I said you might as well take the bull by the horns I just meant - you can't wait 2 more years to meet his kids, & if it's going to have to be done before the access terms are set, it doesn't make that much difference when it's done.

I agree with laeiou, I definitely don't think he should be living with you in the circumstances & I think her boundaries are excellent.

I have a friend who went through something similar, she has 3 girls & her now husband had 3 kids of his own. Her ex & his ex were nightmares about the divorce (her ex was abusive) - it took a long time of waiting, but now they're married & happy. I hope that gives you hope!

Kaluki Sun 21-Jul-13 00:24:19

If he's letting his ex wife rule his life now he will let her forever and she will end up controlling your life too.
I'd find it hard to respect a man like that - Fair enough he doesn't want to lose his kids but he should grow a backbone and fight his corner for both of your sakes.
I agree with cogito.

savemefromrickets Sun 21-Jul-13 05:05:28

You could try seeing a Relate family counsellor with your DP to talk though the situation and how to progress it.

I feel for you. My DP has always been controlled by his ex who is a genius at emotional manipulation and has been known to withhold access by disappearing for a few days, but even he stood up for himself, despite her threats, and I meet his kids about six months, when he met my boy. They also stay over at mine regularly but it took three years to reach that stage!

His children know their mum hates me - she's screamed at me in the street in front of them - but they still want to see me/DS every weekend. It hasn't - god knows how - affected our relationship. I think they know that the situation makes everyone sad and I try to make it easier for them by being very pleasant whenever they talk about their mum. I never, ever criticise her in front of them and never will and DP does the same.

PM me if you want to chat further, as there are details which I wouldn't want to share on a public forum!

this is what i think needs to happen. he needs to introduce you to his boys. not in 'i'm living with this woman' bombshell way but in a casual normal way. next time he has them you arrange to bump into each other somewhere and he says this is my friend so and so. then you do things together now and then when he has the kids, let them get used to you and the idea that you two are dating. yes they'll tell their mum but realistically what can she do about him dating? they're not tiny kids - they will have a say in whether they see their dad and whether they think their mum is being unreasonable and she surely won't want to look like a bitch to her children?

the only problem with all this is that your children already know him and are attached to him and know he's been staying at your house so his kids are going to find out this has been going on for ages and it's been kept secret from them and their dad has been living another family life without them and that is going to hurt and be scary. he has really screwed up basically by going about it this way. he may think he's protecting them/doing it for them etc but this secret keep is going to be hurtful for them and damage their trust in him. the longer he lets it go on the worse that will be. i think you may need to present that reality to him.

newbiefrugalgal Sun 21-Jul-13 11:55:54

What a nightmare OP. I think if you give it a bit more time it will all come together.
My thoughts are waiting until the divorce is done, once that is out of the way you can blend your families.
Surely in this day and age he wouldn't lose the boys, if he has a history of the hands on dad he is wouldn't all of that be taken into account? Make sure he keeps evidence of all of this too.
Maybe the ex will eventually calm down.

8isgood Sun 21-Jul-13 12:48:01

Hi thank you for your replies - I totally agree with all your comments.

I am going to use this time when he is away to get my head straight and actually grow a backbone myself!!

It's awful when you get into your 40's and have both lived a life of fear of your partner. You lose that skill of communication as it always ends up in a fight. You basically withdraw into yourself and keep your feelings to youself for fear of the result of letting them be known.

I think that is a big part of what is going on here.
We are both trying to please. I am trying not to put pressure on him. He is trying to keep the peace for fear of losing his boys.

The end result is a twisted spider web of lies and deceit that grows thicker every day.

I can see that if he doesn't address this urgently then the damage to all 6 of our children and to our relationship could become irreparable :-(

antimatter Sun 21-Jul-13 13:45:37

how would he loose his sons?

surely - once divorce is over he can arrange to see his kids through the courts

also - you weren't a fly on the wall so don't know exactly what it was like
it must have suited him his ex not working etc so that argument is not really valid
he walked out on her - so she is upset

I think what others said - you should go back to being not live-in partners so that he has space to sort himself out

Good time to start when he is 2 weeks away.

BTW - stupid argument that he can't call you in those 2 weeks!
is he going to be welded to his kids so he can't have 10 min in private????

I think there's more going on you don't know and he is just using feeble excuses not to put things right.

Viking1 Sun 21-Jul-13 20:14:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

8isgood Sun 21-Jul-13 22:54:25

I know my partner really well as have known him as a friend for twenty years before we got together so I know I am not being naive here.
It is purely his fear of losing his boys that is preventing me and my guys integrating in his world. He is intigrated in my world and my kids love him and love him living with us.
But I have made the decision that he will have to stay in his rented house until this is sorted.
Maybe that time alone will give him the space he needs to gain the strength to face up to his ex.
I do know what she is like and how much she controlled him as she is one of my sisters close friends. I think that connection is the main reason that she does not want me involved in the boys lives.
She has told my sister that she is happier now, that she does not love him and hasn't done for a while. She said that she was only with him for the money, nice house and nothing else. She had said that she doesn't care who he is with but not me as "it's too close to home"......
So in answer to those of you who feel that he is hiding something and indeed doesn't want to move things on then I can tell you that is not the case.
She is bitter, angry and as they say "hell has no fury like a woman scorned" :-(

trouble is that THIS is what will lose his boys trust and respect. having a new girlfriend wouldn't i believe - knowing your dad has snuck around for a year or more, lying, hiding, building a relationship with other children would break your trust and confidence in him.

Notagaindamnit Mon 22-Jul-13 08:58:42

Have to agree with the trust issue raised here.
Exw a bit deranged in general, but had no problem with me as the person who would spend time with her dc.
Dsd, however, was very angry with her dad for not telling dc that he was in a serious relationship. She was angry with him about a lot of issues which has thankfully stopped now, but that was a specific point she made (she was 12 at the time and felt cheated I think, because she and her brother were particularly close to their dad, just like you say dp is close to his kids).
Your partner should come clean ASAP.
Btw, 8, you sound a lot like me when I set up home with dh.
I weigh up the pros and cons of staying in this relationship daily (issues with dh, dsc, etc.) but the best I got out of this was that my confidence and courage have increased 10 fold! I find I can deal with a lot of problems at work, neighbours, etc a lot better and have taken to battling with dh on misogyny and other misdemeanors (he was also a coward re exw).
Good luck finding your inner strength and courage!

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