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.

Too soon for weekend visits?

(104 Posts)
Absolutelylost Fri 30-Aug-13 23:02:33

My DH moved out at the beginning of July, saying he needed to live alone. He moved in with new lady first week in August and has now announced he wants 5 yr old DD to spend alternate weekends there in 4 weeks time. I think this is way too soon but am I letting my personal views about our marriage cloud what's best for our child?

lunar1 Tue 03-Sep-13 07:37:30

I don't see how the op is punishing anyone, she is simply trying to protect her dd from being pushed into a family dynamic with her dad and his OW or brand new girlfriend.

Cabrinha Tue 03-Sep-13 07:34:22

I'm sorry you're in this situation, it's hard.
But 5 year olds can be really accepting and adaptable.
I told my 4.5 year old one month ago today that her father and I were getting divorced, what that means (living apart, don't love each other) and took her to see my new house the same day. She's been really excited about the house, and totally accepting of splitting her time. In our case, helped I think that I've always worked away a lot and then we've lived very separate lives at the weekend.

But also helped that we've both talked about the split positively.

Before I experienced this, I'd have been the first to talk about rules and timescales for meeting new partners. But now... I really wouldn't worry. She knows what a "date" is (thanks, Disney "Enchanted"!). Yesterday she said she wanted to be a bridesmaid so I took the opportunity to throw in that if (I did emphasise IF) daddy and I got remarried she could be. Reaction? "Then you mustn't get married on the same day and oh! wonderful! I could have 2 mummies and 2 daddies!!!"

I think you have to be careful how the new partner is presented - e.g. It would be confusing to present them as a permanent new stepmother rather than a dating girlfriend.

But actually, I would now introduce my 4.5yo to a new partner much quicker than I ever thought I was.

Frankly, she doesn't care that we're separated! Which is a good thing.

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Tue 03-Sep-13 07:28:53

I'd let her go but insist on meeting the OW woman first. I did that and it worked OK, plus they agreed that she and the ex wouldn't be sharing a bed when the DC were there as they like to go and get in as well. They've kept to that.

Letsadmitit Tue 03-Sep-13 07:21:26

In a nutshell, insisting in waiting those six months so DD doesn't get confused with another woman (or to allow you some time to accept their relationship), may cost your DD the opportunity to see her dad regularly in the future.

Letsadmitit Tue 03-Sep-13 07:16:10

Yes, but you are assuming that he would go through hopes and agree to all what you want in order to see her, and believe me, things don't work like that anymore. You are no longer married and he is moving on.

He is infatuated by another woman and creating a new life, if you want your DD to be included in that life, or any future life of his, you need to have a contact routine in place ASAP. Otherwise contact gets irregular or in demand and that is when your child is at the highest risk of loosing contact with her dad.

Because do not forget that you can do as much as you want to make contact difficult, BUT if he decides he can't be arsed to see his DD much or none at all, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

A huge amount of non resident parents claim the resident parent do not allow contact, I'm quite convinced that a good majority of them could have managed to continue seeing their children but were not prepared to continue having problems with the other parents in order to have it.

Absolutelylost Tue 03-Sep-13 06:50:30

I have never suggested he doesn't have contact with her, have you read the thread? He has known this woman 6 weeks and is suggesting my DD spend alternate weekends there with them as a fully formed couple. That is my concern.

melbie Tue 03-Sep-13 05:24:29

Is it not more unfair for him NOT to see his daughter every other weekend? Yes it is too soon for her to meet the new girlfriend but surely he should be having at least that much contact with her. His behaviour towards you may be crap but don't punish your daughter for it

Absolutelylost Tue 03-Sep-13 01:08:29

A friend has told me, as I am not able to see, that my DH and his new lady have been Facebook friends since July 21, suggesting that this is all as recent as I believed. He was here tonight as it was my birthday and here again tomorrow, dropping something off but nothing has been mentioned since last week's proposals.

I have decided though, that next time he wants to drop a bombshell by email and then turn off his phone, I will simply delete it unread and tell him he has to grow a pair and speak to me in person.

Absolutelylost Mon 02-Sep-13 21:48:49

Yes, we've been together 8 years and have had some great times. But lots of changes need to be made. We'll see.

Mojavewonderer Mon 02-Sep-13 10:52:08

I think it's up to you what you do. I don't know whether its right or wrong because everyone is different and what is right for some people isn't right for others especially with other outside factors going on.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Mon 02-Sep-13 02:53:56

Oh OK confused

It must be one hell of a back story to even consider it given how many other women he has had, how much debt he has got you into, how often he lies to you, how little thought he puts into DD's welfare, how he is treating your other DC, how lazy he is, how much he uses people and that's just the bits on this thread?!

I hope you know what you are doing should this ever be something he wants as it certainly doesn't sound like a good idea for any of you (except him) sad

Absolutelylost Mon 02-Sep-13 02:05:09

I would consider it; there is a long back story and it would take far too long to justify here. There would be conditions on my part, one of them being a serious course of psychotherapy to deal with obvious ishoos. I have also changed, much stronger than I've been in the past. We'll see, it's not on the cards at the moment obviously but we have been great in the past for quite a long time. It would have to be a completely renegotiated arrangement.

But yes, she's incredibly insightful. I think she may have cribbed it from Stuart Little but applied it masterfully!

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Mon 02-Sep-13 01:44:02

I'm glad you had a good day smile

Your DD is an insightful little dot isn't she!

You wouldn't take him back would you??

If not, then I would quash any thoughts DD might be harbouring on this score. I would reply something like 'I know you miss your Daddy, but Daddy has made his decision that he doesn't want to live with us anymore and that's not going to change, but he loves you very much and you can still spend lots of time with him'.

Absolutelylost Sun 01-Sep-13 21:28:07

Gosh, we went to the beach spontaneously today and in the car on the way there she said 'I wish daddy was here but we mustn't act like we have an empty space in the family - we have to fill it.' I realise that's exactly how I was feeling and how I should be going forward with them - as a new unit. She asked if we could squeeze daddy in if he changed his mind and I said we could, if that's what everyone wanted.

And we had a great time.

Isetan Sat 31-Aug-13 22:54:41

Of course your'e right in thinking his actions are not in the best interests of your child, they're not, you don't have to be Dr Phil to come up with that glaringly obvious conclusion. However, Letsadmitit and Sgb talk a whole lot of sense, this is definitely a pick your battles moment. If this were to go to court, the judge would view the loss/ disruption of contact a greater negative impact on your DD than her father's selfish and ill judged need to create another "happy" family. As hard as it is doing the opposite of what your gut says, this is one of those rare occasions where you should do just that.

You'd be amazed what five year olds and even younger kids can absorb (heartbreaking as it is that they should even have to). Invest your energies and emotions where they will get their best return, which is supporting your DD and her kick-ass mum. You are the greatest influence in your DD's life right now, she will be looking to you to validate her feelings (a bit like when kids hurt themselves and they judge their own response by looking at our reactions). Of course she's confused, its confusing!

I can't imagine the hell this man has put you and your children through and just when there appears to be a plateauing of the awfulness he goes and raises the bar, the fucker. However, this isn't about his demands (when will these fuckers realise its not about their rights, its about their responsibilities) or your pain (as devastating as that is), this is about a little girl and her rights and our responsibility as mothers to be our children's advocates. She's only 5, even if she wasn't exposed to these confusing circumstances, it would be hard for her to articulate her feelings. If she had/ has a good relationship with her father prior to your separation you can safely assume she would want this to continue.

Just be there for her; absorb her anger, listen to her fears and worries and reassure her that you aren't going anywhere. Most importantly, there is nothing she did or said, didn't do or didn't say that caused this (my counsellor says that children often assume responsibility for the negative actions of the adults around them).

Disengage, disengage, disengage. Easy for me say, just when I think my Ex's shit no longer effects me, he goes and pushes the only button he has left (DD), disengaging is a process and one which you and your DD will benefit enormously from.

With all the shit my Ex has put me through (and he has put me and DD through A LOT of shit), the thing that still and probably will always hurt the most, is the need for me to support DD in managing the most basic expectations of her father.

lunar1 Sat 31-Aug-13 19:38:06

When you take your children to see Santa for 5 mins where you are present the whole time, the guy behind the beard has been CRB checked. Everyone dealing with children gets CRB checked.

No fucking way would a child of mine sleep in a house with an OW who has been around for five minutes. Apart from anything else what if your dd is scared in the night? Where does she go for comfort? Is she supposed to get in bed with a random stranger? The ow needs to disappear while your dd is visiting.

Absolutelylost Sat 31-Aug-13 19:31:09

Indeed Francesca, but he's finding I'm much less compliant these days. He's a little shocked.

FrancescaBell Sat 31-Aug-13 19:28:38

Yes just as it was terribly convenient to have a sympathetic wife who tip-toed around him during his 'depression' and didn't rock the boat even when he was unfaithful.

He sounds like a user and a taker.

Absolutelylost Sat 31-Aug-13 19:22:37

I am taking it with a pinch of salt but it had occurred to me it was a very convenient set up.

FrancescaBell Sat 31-Aug-13 19:16:58

Not really mysterious, apart from no mention made of taking care of his daughter.

Men like this often tell the separate women in their lives that they are 'just making use' of the other one.

They think you'll feel a sense of one-upwomanship.

I hope you don't.

I hope you realise he's telling her something similar about his obligations to you and your children.

Absolutelylost Sat 31-Aug-13 19:11:49

Well, that was mysterious. He came today and was very pleasant. No talk of contact arrangements but lots of reassurance re managing debt.

He told me that his current living arrangements have a large element of pragmatism to them; he is likely to have a heart op soon which means he can't drive for 6 months and current billet is near his workplace. Obviously it's in the entire family's interest he's working (as a contractor he doesn't get sick pay) Wonder if the new lady knows this.....

Absolutelylost Sat 31-Aug-13 10:08:28

I really don't think a court situation world help any of us and I'm sure that can be avoided. He just needs to think about someone other than himself for 5 minutes.

AintNobodyGotTimeFurThat Sat 31-Aug-13 09:58:23

Perhaps if it does go ahead to court you could maybe get an assessment from a child psychologist on how it could emotionally impact on her?

I must admit though I know nothing about these cases but just an idea as surely the courts wont ignore a professional saying that it would cause emotional disturbances and to leave it until 3 months say to introduce and then 6 months to stay overnight (for an example).

I agree with SGB in principle and if it was a longer relationship I think the OP would need to suck it up if they had been together a year and the XP was demanding that he could have his daughter, there wouldn't be much reasonableness there saying no, unless he was a danger to her.

But this is 6/7 weeks into a relationship - I hardly think that's established enough.

RE: adult relationship dynamics the OPs daughter is very upset and finding out that Daddy doesn't love her Mummy anymore and has moved onto someone else is quite harrowing for a young child and I don't think it should be introduced willy nilly.

Absolutelylost Sat 31-Aug-13 09:56:50

Thank you xales and mama, sounds like constructive suggestions. I don't want it to look like I am stonewalling things for the sake of it.

Xales Sat 31-Aug-13 09:21:45

As he has been 'depressed' and very ill and not really helped care for your DD for best part of a year now, how about suggesting he has every other Saturday with her alone for a month or so plus takes her out for dinner after school once a week and build up a bit of a relationship with her again?

Once he and more importantly she are comfortable with this his new girlfriend is invited out on the Saturday and eventually mid week meal for a few times and then a few weeks after that she stays over on a Saturday and build up to more?

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