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ExP taking DC on holiday to Spain with new Gf - wwyd?(86 Posts)
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?
What are the reasons given for not wanting to meet?
i would insist on meeting her before they went
Yes. I would want to know who my young children were going away with too.
I can understand why the gf may not want to meet though. Probably worried that it would be horrible for her and is thinking about herself and not about the children.
It's absolutely NOT unreasonable to meet one of the two people that would be taking her DC abroad.
But yes, what are the reasons for not meeting up till now? Very strange no? How is the relationship with the ex, amicable? If so, surely he could see the point?
As long as she trusts the ex to be fully responsible for the dc it is of no consequence whether your friend has met the gf or not.
I have no idea who my dc mix with when with their df and I would not expect to do so.
If situations were reversed I would feel very angry if passports being witheld prevented me from taking my dc on holiday with a long term partner.
Yes, you're doing the right thing. I know one brief awkward meeting won't mean you "know" her in the sense you can trust her to do the right thing with your kids, but you'll have a sense, an instinct.
I assume the DCs have met her - do they like her?
And also - it's always possible the reluctance to meet isn't actually coming from her - could it be some weird game-playing from the Ex?
I don't see why she needs to meet her tbh, its a 2 year relationship, I assume the kids have met her before and are happy with her, and they will really enjoy the holiday, what will an awkward meeting just to say 'hello' achieve?
If she 'puts her foot down' and makes demands like this then
that gives the ex free reign to make demands on her relationships in future too.
YABU how would you feel if your ex was trying to exercise that control over you with new friends or relationships?
I think it would be wise to meet her and I do think she is doing the right thing. Why on earth wouldn't the new gf want to meet the children's mum?!
I wouldn't be able to rest if I didn't know who was going away with my children.
I don't really see the problem. This is your ex's partner and it's his responsibility to decide on her suitability not yours. Are your DC happy? Do they enjoy her company?
I don't really understand the purpose of the meeting.
I'm not sure it's fair to refuse to hand over the passports on a point of principle unless you have serious reason to believe the children will not be safe on the holiday. Which it doesn't sound like as you've said you are happy about them going and they'll have fun.
If the roles were reversed and your ex refused passports because he had an issue with something on principle, I imagine you'd feel outraged.
Hmmm, I would probably just google her tbh.
And it is wrong to hold on to the passports.
It would make me more comfortable to meet her beforehand, but it wouldn't be a deal breaker IMO. It appears as its a stable relationship between her and your X. I have no burning desire to meet DPs X, but if she pushed or it, I'd have o problem. I find her reaction a little odd. Are you trying to make contact via X? Could it be that he doesn't want the meet?
Really seriously none of her business. I'd hand over the passports sharpish rather than risk being told by a court to hand over the passports and pay of costs of the abandoned holiday
I'm a muppet and broke cardinal sin of not reading the post correctly, you have contacted her directly.
You really have no grounds / right to withhold passports, it's childish, controlling and wrong.
I might be wrong, but don't the passports belong to the holder, not the parent? In which case you cannot hold on to them.
YABU. I can't imagine you'd put up with your ex controlling you like this. He's the one in charge of the DC while they're away, and you have to trust him to make sure he looks after them properly, just as he does when they're with you. This includes choosing suitable friends/partners with whom to spend time along with the children.
No, you are not doing the right thing, hand the passports over
Thanks for contributions so far
I am fighting trolls elsewhere and haven't contacted my mate again.
I can understand her POV - I would want to meet the person taking my babies an aeroplane ride away....
So what should she do if a direct approach hasn't worked?
It is very odd that she won't meet you but that says more about her oddness than you.
Having said that, a court would not even entertain the idea of you witholding passports in this case.
As long as you have no concerns about your Exs ability to care for the children safety, then I would strongly advise you to smile, rise about her insecurities or whatever else is causing her to act like this, and focus on the fact that the children will have a lovely holiday.
(I say this as someone who deals constantly with an OW trying to alienate me from my kids and over stepping boundaries at every turn)
Sorry, but she needs to hand over passports. Unless she has some clear evidence that this woman poses any risk of harm to her children she has no right to dictate to her ex who he can or cannot go on holiday with. It is a shame his girlfriend won't meet her but if she won't, she won't. This is a relationship of two years so presumably their dad knows and trusts her.
If he has to take this to court she will come out of it looking like a controlling and irrational person.
What does she feel a meet up will achieve though? If she doesn't like the woman she will feel worse about letting them go, but have no grounds to refuse.
However hard it is she must trust her ex H judgement unless she has strong reasons to believe the children are at risk. Which it doesn't sound like.
The girlfriend is within her rights not to meet your friend however strange the refusal may seem.
She is not taking anyone's babies away on her own though. She is accompanying the father of the children, who have known her for 2 years.
I would be dropping the whole idea and handing over the passports.
Sorry, but I don't think it's your right to know this woman.
You won't know all the people in charge of your LOs at some point or another.
Your ex is responsible for the children and for the people they are in contact with when he's in charge.
They have been together for 2 years, not two weeks.
It seems that during this time you have no complaints about this woman.
As sure as hell, I wouldn't want to be checked by a partner's ex, nor
would I allow ex to check on a partner.
Just let go.
In fact, if you stop insisting on meeting it might happen faster.
Can't your mate fb, LinkedIn and google her? Ring her? I would panic after that.
I don't think I would easily cope with my children going abroad without me, so I would definitely need to know everything about the trip, especially who they were travelling with.
I can be a little overprotective and controlling
This was meant for Olivia's friend, of course.
My ExH has always let me meet girlfriends before they do big things with the kids. I find it odd that she hasn't agreed to meet her.
Not sure she can say no really but I understand why she has refused passports. She's hoping to finally force her hand and I guess her suspicion must be growing on the gf avoidance and if she has something to hide.
I could do with a bit more info. Does her ExH and gf live together and do the children see her often? What do the kids say about her?
And I say this as someone who was initially galled at my exh's inappropriate choice of gf.
I had to accept that as long as she wasn't causing harm to them, then it was his life and she was part of it.
Presumably the children have met the gf already during overnight contact? She should let the children go and hand over the passports. As other posters have said, the last thing your friend needs is a Court Order telling her to hand over the passports and pay the costs of the wasted holiday.
Morally she is doing the right thing. Legally not.
However, is her ex in possession of many thousands of £££££ to fight it in court?
If I was her I would send a non emotional email along the lines of...
"I am sure that you would want to make sure that anyone who was in our childrens lives was someone you could trust with them.. I am sure that you understand that I would like to meet the woman who will be partly responsible for our children while they are away. I look forward to meeting X, and I know that the children will enjoy their holiday"
This means he has to be a shit to say "no I dont understand/I wouldnt care who is in my childrens lives" which it is doubtful he will do. And the "I look forward to meeting X" says that she expects it to happen and is non negotiable.
PS My exes new GF cut my teenage DD's hair and yet refuses to meet me............I had to be held back!
Really difficult, but if the ex has PR then withholding passports is petty.
I have not met my XH's new girlfriend, and I did get rather furious when DS stayed the night at her house without me knowing in advance.
However, hard as it is, I think she has to let this go.
Yikes at haircutting
This is all brilliant - and Like your email idea bogeyface
He doesn't need thousands, he can represent himself. It's a no brainer, she will look very foolish indeed. Se doesn't have the moral high ground here. She is prepared to prevent her children having a lovely holiday with their dad.
I do understand her worries. But she cannot hold on to the passports.
What's the purpose of meeting her? what can really be learnt in a brief meeting anyway.
What's the purpose of meeting her? what can really be learnt in a brief meeting anyway.
What if ex went on holiday with a mate instead of a gf?
Would Olivia's friend be this worried?
I think the email would be very easy to ignore. If my ex sent me an email like that I would think he had lost his mind.
The DC's parent is taking them on holiday. His GF is going too, but she is not taking them anywhere. While it would be lovely if all the adults knew eachother, it is not necessary and sometimes it is best to just leave it.
Has your friend spoken to her Ex or his GF about it? What reasons have they given for the refusal to meet?
Exactly. Is she going to undertake a risk assessment on the spot? Ask about her criminal record? This is about the need to feel in control, I am not criticising her for feeling as she does, god knows I have been there, but she needs to act like an adult.
Spero yes he can, but probably not in time for the holiday.
I think that non emotional and "I know we both want the best for our children" is the best way to go.
Lweji no she wouldnt but then the friend wouldnt be a potential "other mother" to her children. I am not generally jealous, but keep away from my kids! I am a lioness when it comes to them, I am their mother and I do get irrationally angry at anyone who tries to act like they are.
Your mate has met the person taking her babies a plane ride away... shes even had children with him. was she this controlling when they were together?
If be concerned that her refusal to meet you shows some resentment on some level which I'd be afraid might extend to my child.
I understandably hate my exh ow but when they had children I swallowed my pride and now communicate as she has my dc siblings.
I am a family lawyer. If she was my client, I would be telling her very clearly just how unreasonable she was being. This is the children's holiday with their father. She has absolutely no legal or moral right to behave in this way, absent any genuine concerns about the girlfriend.
Why so nasty? This woman is entrusting her children in part to a person she has never met!
If my mother wanted to take my children away with her best workmate (who I have never met) then I would want to meet her first. Mum would understand that.
Are you really saying that there will be no point in the holiday where the GF will be alone with the kids? Even if they are at the beach and the Ex goes for ice creams, she will be in loco parentis at that point. I would need to feel I could trust her, and meeting her would go a long way to that, because first instincts are rarely wrong.
Why wont she meet the "OP"? the fact that she is refusing to give the mother of her partners children a little bit of reassurance is not good imo. Screams "issues" to me. I dont think that the OP would have this problem if it werent for the fact that the GF is ignoring her and refusing to have any contact at all.
Mothers don't own children.
I suspect the girlfriend is terrified of meeting her as she comes across as unreasonable and very controlling.
i think if you trust your EX to look after his dcs for a week away then you really should trust him to decide who is safe/appropriate to be around his dcs.
i certainly wouldn't agree to my EX meeting a partner (of two years!) just to allow me to go on holidays. i am trusted enough by him to care for our dcs 90% of the time- i expect the same trust when it comes to choosing who else i bring into their lives.
so YABU to withold passports. i very much doubt this is out of any concern for the dcs wellbeing but more about control and having your nose put out of joint that she isn't bowing to your command to meet with you. she's under no obligation to meet you at all. she has already been OK'd by the children's other parent. or is your verdict more important than his?
It's not nasty. It's about respecting the other parent's decisions and accepting that you cannot manage your DC's lives when they are at their dad's.
My contact agreement states that ds' passport stays in my house. But that doesn't mean I hold it hostage. I can understand the temptation but where is it going to get her? Just upset everyone including possibly the dc. And make tthings MORE difficult in the future.
Agree that if she trusts ex to let them go. Would she insist on meeting if it was a friend going? It is a new partner not a new parent, ex should be in charge.
Olivia - whilst I understand that she wants to meet her (& that you would too), she really can't insist... her Ex is taking them away and unless there are some very good reasons he shouldn't be trusted with them (& if that's the case she needs to deal with that), then she has to trust his judgement with regard to who else is there. It is irrelevant that the gf is going tbh.
If I had a boyfriend for two years and my ex insinuated that he couldn't be trusted around my daughter, I would feel even more contempt for my ex than I currently do.
My contact agreement states that ds' passport stays in my house.
Hmmm. My XH insisted upon this, too. Such an odd thing to be controlling about, but if it makes him feel special when I have to ask him for it, who am I to deny him that pleasure?
Surely you have to trust your ex partner to make decisions on who is involved in your child's life.
Very controlling behaviour to me what your friend is asking.
What would a 15 minute meeting really tell someone anyway?
None of her business if you ask me.
am i the only one wondering why we had to be warned to be polite?
Clearly we cannot be trusted.
Because its obviously unreasonable!
is olivia's friend someone more special than the rest of us who must be protected from impolite remarks?
am i the only one wondering why we had to be warned to be polite?
'Cos I am going to email my (inexplicably non MNing) friend a link to this thread and she is effectively a newbie...
she is an adult though Olivia, right?
or are we to treat all newbies with kid gloves?
Toby, my ex is abusive and has threatened to abduct ds. I have good reason to keep hold of it. Not the same as the OP I'm sure but it shows dc passports can be kept by one parent only, unlike someone suggested upthread.
I'm not sure her non-MN-ing will change, given that the general consensus is that SIBVU!
I don't think anyone has been rude. Or nasty. Bit she needs to know as this kind of behaviour is potentially opening up a world of hurt for her, including her children resenting her and her ex being furious.
Sadly, people don't always do the right or kind thing but you have to let it go, unless you are prepared to argue yo don't trust their dad to keep hem safe on holiday.
I have just been to court this week to get a court order to order the passport office to cancel and issue new passports, which have cost me £200 for the court order, and £46 each for 2 children's passports because my ex was withholding them because he has had contact stopped (again by the courts) my children have turned round and said they will never forgive their dad for trying to stop their holiday and upsetting me (they overheard me being a little hysterical on the phone!)
The courts will do what is right by the children and not the parents so I would suggest handing them over is the best option as the children will have a lovely time and if you trust the other parent then you should trust their judgement on who they spend time with.
I'm not sure her non-MN-ing will change, given that the general consensus is that SIBVU!
Well this isn't AIBU though, is it?!
In answer to the other question regarding treating newbies with kid gloves, , she is an adult yes but we ask everyone in our Talk Guidelines "We'd appreciate it if you could use the same courtesy when posting messages on Talk as you would use when speaking to someone face to face. Please do bear in mind how difficult this parenting business can be, and if there's one thing all of us could do with, it's some moral support."
Hope this clears that one up.
And if she does meet her? And her instincts told her No? What then? Would she want her ex to have the right to veto her partner?
It is very hard but you have to let go a little.
"she is an adult yes but we ask everyone in our Talk Guidelines "We'd appreciate it if you could use the same courtesy when posting messages on Talk as you would use when speaking to someone face to face. Please do bear in mind how difficult this parenting business can be, and if there's one thing all of us could do with, it's some moral support.""
well yes, that's kind of my point. why did you feel the need to give extra warning that we should be polite? everyone knows the talk guidelines. i'm not sure why it needed to be re-inforced just because it was your friend or a newbie? we're all adults and quite capable of deciding for ourselves how to respond to any particular post. if someone is rude then yes, by all means remind them of the rules but it seems a bit 'teacher has spoken' when you put it in the OP.
My DP has a 4yo DD. I have known DD for two years, have known DP for 2.5 years and we live together. I have never met the child's mother and have no plans to do so. We live over 250 miles away from her and the child's home. The child spends 50% of school holidays at our home and this summer that means she will spend two weeks being cared for by me while DP is at work as we have no alternative due to the court order.
His ex might not like it, but at least she accepts that she has no choice. Although it is not part of the court order, DP does let her know if we are away from home with their DD. She also speaks to her mum on the phone almost every night.
If I was the father in the situation given, I would take this to court and would be certain to win. DP's ex was told in no uncertain terms that she could not control who the child was in contact with when in DP's care. After all, they both have parental responsibility and the same applies to him!
I can totally understand her gut reaction of wanting to meet the gf but I also don't think she has a right to.
For me I would stop myself (although my ex is married to someone else now) because it would be leaving me open to demands from my ex with regard to who the dc spend time with when in my care. He can barely contain himself as it is if he hears someone in the background when he phones the dc never mind if I'd pit myself in the position of making those demands so giving him the same rights back.
If there are no issues with the father caring for the dc on holiday I'm afraid she's just got to hand over the passports and deal with it.
I agree that she may not like it (and it is difficult) but she can't really do much to force a meeting. In any event a forced meeting may not be a very constructive or positive atmosphere! If she hates the girlfriend on sight she can't do much in any event.
Also this is absolutely not a new relationship. In the OP you say that they have been together for two years. In that time hasn't the girlfriend been around the children? If she has, have the children given any reason to doubt that she should be around them?
Th ex is honest - for that your dear friend should be grateful, as a lot of men would have just not told her that the girl friend was going and tbh I bet now that this mum is withholding the passports the ex wishes to goodness he had lied
Yes the dc may have well let the cat out of the bag after the holiday, but it would have been to late then.
She should thank her lucky stars she has an honest ex, many many ex's tell big fat whopping lies all the time, he may tell fibs but this he has been honest about but is unlikely to be honest in the furture if she carrys on with this in this way.
My ex told me that I couldn't take my dd's away on holiday with my boyfriend before he had met him, I kindly explained to him in a very snide voice that as my boyfriend was crb checked he didn't need to meet him and if we were going to start meeting people that spent time with our dc I would need a list each and every week of the people he was going to be near with our dc - he fucked off and never said anything quite so stupid again And he was only trying to play the controlling card as he wanted to be nosey and make my bf feel small by inspecting him and giving him the once over
It is an interesting question, Purple, would the friend then check hotel availability and book her own holiday to Spain, just to keep an eye out for the dc?
As hard as it must be, Olivia, imho, your friend should just box up her emotional turmoil over this and incinerate it...then give the dc new cameras with mahoosive memory cards so they can photograph/record every aspect of their fabulous adventure. Anything inappropriate may "accidentally" be put on record .
Good point about him being honest - my ex spent a weekend with our then 4 year old and his girlfriend of just three months, only six months after we separated. He didn't even tell me he was in a relationship.
I was angry, not because I wanted to vet her but because my daughter came back talking about 'daddy's friend who stayed the night' and it would have helped to have prior warning as daughter was confused and I didn't know what was going on.
So, Bogey, you wouldn't allow your mother or exMIL to have the children for a while?
Who says this woman tries to be the children's mother?
She'll just be a person who may be in charge of the children for some periods (say exH is in the shower, or goes out).
Other women will be in exH's lives as other men may be in ours (female pps ). We don't have to scrutinise them.
I'd suggest that people with such control issues go on the holiday themselves, armed with binoculars and some hidden microphones.
If the holiday is such an issue, then maybe this friend should withhold contact, as she is so worried about some other woman being alone with the children, because it's likely that she has already been.
What if the father hires a nanny to watch over the children for a few hours?
What if he books them to a class?
Do they need to be vetted too?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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)
Hi Olivia, how is your friend? Has she decided what she's going to do yet?
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.
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.
I can understand your friend and ideally all adults should have met.
However I really don't think she can withold the passports.
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.
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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