Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

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

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!

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.

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" :-(

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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.

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 :-(

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.

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.

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!

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.

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!

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.

8isgood Sat 20-Jul-13 22:27:15

Yes once again I agree. We have discussed this.
But he would do anything not to drag his kids into court.

It's not about the money it would cost him. It's about his boys.

He is scared of losing them and causing them any more pain.

I've known him a long time. He is the most decent, honest,loving, caring, hardworking man. I get that none if you know him but I do. He is not someone I've just met. I do not have rose-tinted glasses on.

He just wants to have his boys and me and my guys in his life.

I am just so messed up with my baggage and his that I really don't know what to do.

For the both of us we know our kids come first but at what price???

laeiou Sat 20-Jul-13 22:17:04

Ok so none of us get butterflies about this guy (and it sounds like you do) so we're less invested in this relationship.

I suggest while the relationship is secret-
He lives in his own house
No sleepovers at yours
You can stay at his (without any children there)
He doesn't see much of your children

Once his boys know about you, I'd have their overnights at their dad's house until all DC are happy with them staying at yours.

I expect you're reading this thinking "no! that'll be years away"

Also , if access were blocked, can he not sort access independently of the divorce?

8isgood Sat 20-Jul-13 22:04:32

Twinkelstien what do you mean?

What do u think I should do??

Twinklestein Sat 20-Jul-13 21:48:11

Oh I see I thought it would further along. I have no idea what I would do in that case...

If it's going to take that long, you may as well take the bull by the horns now... or rather your partner...

8isgood Sat 20-Jul-13 21:43:03

God crap typing on my phone as I meant that's what "I think" saying what "you" think makes me seem blasé and arrogant and that is not what I meant to type!!

8isgood Sat 20-Jul-13 21:41:03

Yes twinkelstien that's wot u think but his divorce will take ages literally. She won't do mediation so now trying co-lab.
Doubt that will work either as she wants half his business!!
So probably will go to court.

That took a friend of mine 2 years plus so wot do I do in the meantime???

She uses their children as a weapon :-(

He loves his boys not her but she calls the shots!!

I just do not know what to do as my heart tells me one thing and my heart the other !!!

Twinklestein Sat 20-Jul-13 21:29:11

Great advice from laioeu & swallowed.

It's different in every situation.

In this situation, once his kids know, they will tell their mum, she will kick off & what will the consequences be...?

I think he needs to have his divorce through before you meet them.

That's crap in terms of your relationship I know, but the possible outcome of her going ape-shit, restricting access & trying to turn her kids against their dad - it's too disastrous.

That's my take on it anyway...

8isgood Sat 20-Jul-13 19:57:37

Me again - home alone lol as my kids all on sleepovers and me banished to hell!!!

So question - how long is long enough to wait b4 you are introduced to a new partners kids??

How long b4 you expect your partner to tell his kids about you??

Can you tell this is eating me up??

Possibly baggage from my previous physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually abused marriage clouding my mind ....

BUT when when when ......

It's been a year -surely that's long enough??? ???

8isgood Sat 20-Jul-13 18:53:23

Again all good points thank you :-)

Yes he is paying half of the rent here and half bills and food etc.

Also paying bills and rent in his house

Also paying mortgage and huge amount of maintenance to ex who doesn't work.

I work full time and I must say that the money issue in terms of what he pays her pisses me off too!!!

She has never worked since kids and has no intention of doing so!!!

My ex pays next to nothing for my kids and sees the very rarely ..........

You are all right and I know it.

He is not doing this intentionally I know - but you are right he needs to move back into his rented house and we need to go back to dating.

That way I won't feel like I'm making him choose between kids or me as I would never ever do that.

However for whatever reason he still hasn't "manned up" and yes I don't like it.

Me thinks I've compromised enough!!!

agree with laeiou - you are letting him stay in your home and be in your children's lives and homes WITHOUT him having actually committed to you and your children in kind by allowing you into his life. that's not only unfair on you but i think unwisely unfair on your children. they are getting attached to and thinking intimately of a man who isn't doing the same in kind in reality. that's not fair.

either he moves in with you or he doesn't. he doesn't secretly stay at your house whenever he hasn't got the kids then go home.

incidentally is he paying half of your rent/mortgage as well paying his own?

laeiou Sat 20-Jul-13 18:39:03

* should say go back to dating .... and your own children are happy to have the dad and his boys staying in their house.

laeiou Sat 20-Jul-13 18:34:13

I think that allowing him free access to your children's home is a mistake. You talk of leaving your marriages in terms of showing the children that it's not right to remain in loveless marriages. What about having a secretive semi-step dad who has children who may at some point, come and live in your house, but none of you can meet them? Is that better? Honestly I think the whole thing is arse over elbow. Go back to dating this guy and don't move in together until his family situation and contact is sorted out.

8isgood Sat 20-Jul-13 17:48:00

Oops that should read "live together"

Not "love together" lol .......

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now