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.

Exh and I relationship causing problems...

(23 Posts)
theuncivilservant79 Sun 20-Jul-14 08:18:56

We had a v acrimonious divorce, didn't speak for a year, battled over access to dc and so on. After the first year things started to calm down and during the second year of separation we developed a better relationship that feels like a parenting team. Our dc are very little (dc2 born post split) and exh needed a lot of support with contact as I bf for 18 months.
We are at the point now where we can go in to each others houses to see the kids and catch up. We have family meals fairly regularly maybe weekly and we do a day out altogether sometimes. Exh works away weeks at a time and due to this I am v flexible about contact. Kids seems really happy about life in general and exh really bonded with dc2 when we all worried he wouldn't.

There has been no hint of rekindling at any point and I doubt there would be we have both had new relationships.

Exh commented few months back that girlfriends were v unsupportive of him spending time with me and that they said it obstructed serious relationships. My first post split partner had no such issue. Second one does. Big as overtly as the above women but I see it sort of escalating.

Exh and I are in regular contact about the kids and text back and forth about such contentious subject as ballet kit and sorting out nursery pickup. Sometimes exh sends me news links from the bbc. It's that seedy.....

My opinion is that we worked hard to be friends again I can't be doing with someone else's ego objecting to this. On the other hand I want to have a serious partner too...

What do you all think?

MexicanSpringtime Sun 20-Jul-14 08:27:58

I'm so glad you and your Ex have a good relationship, particularly as it is good for your children.

On what you have written, I think you should hold out for a bf or partner who accepts that you have to see the father of your children and the more amiable it is the better.

I personally hate a jealous person as I've had some bad experiences, as has my daughter. They slowly and surely cut you off from friends and family, and their insecurity still goes on.

InternetFOREVER Sun 20-Jul-14 08:30:15

Well done for working so hard on your relationship and getting to where you are now, no easy feat after a difficult split. Your DC's dad will be in your life for the rest of your life, so you're right to protect that relationship. In terms of a new partner, maybe you'll have to keep looking until you find one who can be supportive of you co-parenting... settling down with anyone who can't tolerate this seems like a recipe for disaster!
Good luck.

bananananacoconuts Sun 20-Jul-14 08:32:18

This could have been written by me! My exh is currently asleep on our sofa and we'll be spending the day together with our 2 dc.
I have had partners question our relationship as exh works abroad so when he's here he'll tend to stay in our house but there has never been anything other than a solid parenting team who want the best for our children. It's obviously not always going to be that way as the kids get older but for now, that's how we do things.
My kids come first, and having their dad here makes them happy. I think we're lucky to be able to be friends after so much went on leading up to our divorce. Any partner i meet in the future will need to accept that for now because as i said it's for the children and wont last forever.
Not sure i'd manage to be such an understanding partner though!

Pimpf Sun 20-Jul-14 08:33:46

I think you and your ex should be congratulated on being able to have the relationship you have, any new partner has to get over themselves, just because you can maintain a relationship with each other doesn't mean you're going to get back together again, if that were to happen you would have done that.

I would hold out for a mature reasonable man if I were you

Guiltypleasures001 Sun 20-Jul-14 08:35:46

I applaud what you and your ex have worked out and worked hard for, maybe there is an accommodation to be reached with both of you if another partner comes on the scene.

This could be worked out in advance, with what you both feel is the right thing to do. Over all though this is an issue for the new partner to work through and not yours, you both do this for your kids and that's all that matters.

When they are older they won't need as much interaction from either of you yet alone both at once.

heyday Sun 20-Jul-14 08:40:55

When I split up from my ex 10 years ago, once things had settled we have a very similar set up to you. Kids dad always comes round to see them open Christmas/ birthday presents, is around a lot and we text a lot about the children. We also do little jobs to still help each other out as things arise.
We would never, ever rekindle our relationship but I am so thankful that my children have benefitted from having both their parents around especially of important days. It has added greatly to their happiness and security.
I think your children should aways come first especially when they are so young. It's great what you are both doing.
I guess you have to be honest with new partners from the outset. Make it clear that there is no chance of a rekindling of the relationship and just take your time in finding the right person who is mature enough to handle this set up.

rainbowfeet Sun 20-Jul-14 08:41:49

My exh & I still had a very close friendship post split... 1 dc aged 5 at the time.. Now 11.

My 1st partner was very against this & said it wasn't natural.. He had a terrible relationship with his exp, while I felt dd benefitted from her parents being so close still I never felt fully separated & still looked for his approval which ultimately led to me constantly questioning myself & wondering if we should get back together. I wish we would have had more space between us at the beginning.

6 years down the line.. We are now divorced & live 80 miles apart.. He sees dd for a weekend every 2 to 3 weeks, phones her every night, I'm single but he has a new partner. I finally feel like we made the right decision to split & I'm much more independent.
His partner still feels we are too close but she is young & insecure.. I think it's quite natural for any partner to feel a little insecure as you & exp have history & children together but I think both your relationships might benefit from taking a little step back from each other

JackAndGills Sun 20-Jul-14 10:25:26

This is similar to how it was with XH and me. Very acrimonious to start with, then years down the line we both mellowed and now I don't mind him being in my house or sleeping in DSs room the occasional night if he's nowhere else to stay whilst visting him - he's lives th eother side of the country.

This works for DS and nothing else matters.

I was in a relationship until recently and my XP had a similar arrangement with his XW and her new partner so there was no issue for him. He understood it worked well for the DCs.

If your or your XHs new partners have a problem with your relationship, they probbly have an issue about the DCs, as well as you or him, which is an enormous red flag.

RollerCola Sun 20-Jul-14 10:43:48

It says more about the new partners than it does about you and your ex. If they can't handle it then the new relationship won't last because you will always have that link with your ex. Well done on getting to a comfortable level with him and keeping everything amicable, it's not easy.

My ex and I have managed to do this, it was very tough at first but after a year apart I think we've settled into a comfortable, fairly amicable relationship and the kids are happy.

I have a new partner who doesn't have any children of his own. At first I felt a bit wary of talking about my ex as I wasn't sure how he felt, however he is completely understanding of the whole situation and knows that my kids always come first. He's not the jealous type at all and isn't bothered in the slightest about me texting or calling my ex about child related issues. There's never been any question of ex and I getting back together, he knows that and I make sure I'm very open with text content etc. At the same time he also has a good relationship with an ex girlfriend, I've met her and her family and it's all fine. As long as everyone's open and truthful there shouldn't be problems.

Would it help if new partners met you/him? I sometimes think seeing people irl helps.

BrunoBrookesDinedAlone Sun 20-Jul-14 12:12:22

Hold out for a better partner.

Frame this so it is about YOU.

You have worked hard to succeed at a difficult situation so that you have reached a point where you are happy, you've attained something good which has been a real struggle, it's something that also benefits your children. You've met a new person who not so long ago you didn't know from Adam... and he wants you to give up all that, to appease his insecurities.

Madness, isn't it? Utterly not worth it for either you or your children. Will make everybody less happy, and where it comes to your children and their future relationship with your new partner, it's actually likely to make HIM less happy too - because they'll see new man/stepdad coming in and their own dad suddenly less 'in' their family lives. Not good. Hardly likely to win him their approval.

And - what it shows when it comes to your new bf is that he's B-list, really. You've already had one partner where this simply wasn't an issue - all it takes is someone sensible, reasonably secure in themselves and your relationship, and, err, not utterly immature. So not hard. Hold out, then, for a person WITH that attitude that you can also see yourself being happy with in toto.

Rebecca2014 Sun 20-Jul-14 12:50:08

Ok I have to be honest because I am in same situation as your Exh ex.

My husband is quite close to his ex, they talk on the phone not just about their son but their personal lifes, these conversations can go on for a hour. My husband has even said if we were to have a family get together he would invite his ex along...He sees her as a friend as it was such a long time ago they were together but I do not like it at all!

I feel getting too close to an ex can lead to trouble and yes I am that jealous wife. If my husband chose his ex friendship over me then I happily split with him, I do not come second to any one. You should both put your current partners FIRST. If your partners are uncomfortable with your relationship then take it on board.

RollerCola Sun 20-Jul-14 13:26:48

Sorry rebecca but I'm afraid I don't agree. If you have kids and can get along with their dad it benefits them, and they should always be your top priority, not your new partner.

In your case your husband is with you, and loves you, not his ex, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't be friendly with her if he wants to be. He will have a link to her forever because they have children together.

If he stopped contacting her the children would suffer wouldn't they? Surely it's better for them to have two parents who get on and are friendly?

Minime85 Sun 20-Jul-14 13:35:27

The people who come first are the children. Not the parents. And what you have described op is a great example of parents who are not together romantically bit self together re the children and rightly so. I hope to continue in the same vein with my ex. We have gotten along reasonable well so far. With partners being introduced to children though it might change! At the forefront are the dcs though and what's best for them.

RollerCola Sun 20-Jul-14 14:15:51

I think that as a partner or wife of someone who has children with a previous partner, you should enter into the relationship only on the understanding that their children WILL come first to them before you. To expect them to put you first is imo very selfish and not in the best interests of the children involved.

Of course if a parent chooses to put their new partner first that is their own choice. Personally I would respect them more if they DID put their children before me. It says a lot about what kind of parent and person they are.

Op you are doing the right thing. A good partner will completely understand.

theuncivilservant79 Sun 20-Jul-14 15:19:49

Thanks this has all bee very reassuring and affirming really. It's not as though exh and I hang out when the kids arnt there - we have separate social lives for that.

I cannot replace my dc dad so jam happy enough to support himas a friend

OvertiredandConfused Sun 20-Jul-14 15:25:30

I agree that new partners should be prioritised over an ex. But that's not the question here Rebecca. It's about a successful co-parenting relationship that OP has worked hard to build and that benefits their DC.

Well done OP. Stick with what works for you and your DC.

Rebecca2014 Sun 20-Jul-14 19:13:38

Would you really be happy with your husband going for meals with his ex and family days out? No I wouldn't be even if their child is there. I can understand why both your partners have had problems with this and you two will carry on having problems.

There is getting along for your kids and taking things too far like the OP is doing but it seems they are both still holding a torch for each other and their friendship comes above any new relationship so anyone new doesn't stand a chance.

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore Sun 20-Jul-14 19:51:26

There is getting along for your kids and taking things too far like the OP is doing but it seems they are both still holding a torch for each other and their friendship comes above any new relationship so anyone new doesn't stand a chance

No. Not ANYONE new. Just those that are insecure. hmm Big difference.

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore Sun 20-Jul-14 19:52:30

And I mean that in the way that the OP is doing the right thing in putting her children's needs first. If a prospective partner is that insecure, he's better off not being a prospective partner.

Quitelikely Sun 20-Jul-14 19:56:58

I would not like this however I think yous should include potential serious partners in on your meets or whatever (occasionally) so that they are reassured all is what it should be.

theuncivilservant79 Mon 21-Jul-14 21:05:47

Thanks all. Tbh if exh worked a 9-5 and we had an established contact routine I don't think it would have worked out this way but he doesn't and goes weeks without seeing the dc. The result of this is that it's a big jump for my dc to go cold turkey from me to him so we have to do this kind of dragged out transition period which has transpired as the family meals and occasional outings.we also tend to do it to say goodbye to him again. Dd1 is finding him being so irregular harder as she gets older and seems to need these gentle transitions more. I think also exh is getting more aware that being a lone parent is hard work and he tries to do a few jobs for me when he's around so I'm not swamped all the time. I'm baffled to see what the issue is

rb32 Tue 22-Jul-14 10:30:43

One more here to applaude what you and your ex have done. It's fantastic you can get along so well for your children, they really will appreciate this as they get older.

New partners will just have to accept the way it is (although I can see why it may cause issues for people such as Rebecca2014) and if they don't then you're obviously incompatible.

This is your life and your childrens life and anyone wanting to be with you will have to be happy with it too smile

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