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?

Bant Fri 30-Aug-13 23:11:18

So he had an affair with her then and is trying to act like he just met her?

Yanbu. He should be able to see his DD but not when the OW is there for months yet. Your DD will be incredibly confused about her father living in a different place - adding his girlfriend into the situation will just exacerbate the pain for her. Have you spoken to a lawyer yet?

Absolutelylost Fri 30-Aug-13 23:14:49

Don't think he has known her very long actually. He was mucking about with others and was very careless about me finding out. He was very ill suddenly, nearly died, and moved in to 'recuperate' - think he's too lazy to go back to his bedsit.

Shapechanger Fri 30-Aug-13 23:17:25

He was mucking about with others and was very careless about me finding out. He was very ill suddenly, nearly died

That's called karma, isn't it?

Sorry to be flippant.

Yanbu, it is too soon and dd is only little... not on.

Bant Fri 30-Aug-13 23:19:11

He's moving in with someone he met after a month? Sounds highly suspicious to me - looks like he's trying to minimise/deny things.


Absolutelylost Fri 30-Aug-13 23:20:57

I don't really care how long he's known her -am more concerned that from my DD's point of view, he's only been gone 7 weeks!

AintNobodyGotTimeFurThat Fri 30-Aug-13 23:21:56


It should be at least 6 months in my opinion before he even thinks of introducing the new woman in his life to his DD which wont happen as he'll be on number 6 by then and I mean 6 months with one individual other woman so I don't think it's appropriate.

Your DD is 5 years old and would be terribly confused. She must be confused enough as it is that her Dad isn't with her Mum anymore and why her Dad is living somewhere else [not your fault of course, it's his - but she'll be confused as she wont understand affairs at this age, thank goodness].

I think if she was 15 then it might be a different kettle of fish if she wanted to meet the other woman but as it is, I think you are completely correct.

He should meet with his daughter without the other woman being there and she shouldn't be introduced for months yet.

Bant Fri 30-Aug-13 23:25:20

Completely agree with aintnobody - that's perfectly reasonable. You're protecting your DD

Letsadmitit Fri 30-Aug-13 23:25:33

No, it is not "very soon". If you let the things slip for longer he may loose interest in having contact with his DD altogether.

At 5 your DD won't make much of the situation, children are remarkably adaptable (if you as adults manage the things well), it would be incredibly painful for you, but your DD will be ok. Unless he is a danger to your DD, do not make her pay for your ExH's mustakes.

Absolutelylost Fri 30-Aug-13 23:26:32

I think it's so thoughtless of him. Actually, cruel. He fondly imagines she won't remember any of this in the future. She is as bright as a button.

Bant Fri 30-Aug-13 23:28:44

To clarify, DD should be able to see her father every fortnight, but he shouldn't introduce her to any new 'friends' until he's been with them for at least 6 months

Letsadmitit Fri 30-Aug-13 23:29:49

She will be fine, honest. It is more difficult the older they get, at 5 she will see the other person as a friend of her dad and won't be confused provided both you and her dad do not make an issue about it.

Absolutelylost Fri 30-Aug-13 23:30:44

That's my view Bant. Seems to be a generally recommended time frame. I would encourage him to see her as often as they want, been complicated recently by him not being able to drive for a while.

Letsadmitit Fri 30-Aug-13 23:32:16

Bant, that is what people expects, but that won't be a view shared by a court, actually, in reality, very few people wait six months to introduce the children, mostly because the children are part of your day to day life and most people can't afford so much babysitting.

Absolutelylost Fri 30-Aug-13 23:35:24

Friend of her dad he shares a bed with?! She is a very bright girl...

Bant Fri 30-Aug-13 23:36:57

A court will accept whatever has been agreed between the parents as best for the children.

It seems that the husband has been screwing around and found an excuse to move out and shack up with the other woman. Moving in with someone less than a month after meeting them is incredibly quick, so I'd be very suspicious about that.

6 months before meeting the girlfriend seems reasonable, it's what I agreed with my Ex (although both of us are still single after a year). No one needs babysitters, the OW can just go away for the weekends, presuming she's got no kids

Letsadmitit Fri 30-Aug-13 23:38:37

Believe me, at that age they cannot even imagine what sleeping together in a bed means. The only thing that may confuse her us you not taking the time to kindly explain that you and her dad are no longer together and that despite if you living apart you will continue to love her very much.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Fri 30-Aug-13 23:39:19

I would ask DD if she wants to go. Her Dad might be a bit of a fuck up on the relationship front, but he's still her Dad and she's entitled to spend weekends with him if she wants to. She has you and she has her Dad - I wouldn't worry too much about the 'other women'. He's living with this one now, so it's a bit unrealistic to say DD can't meet her.

Absolutelylost Fri 30-Aug-13 23:41:01

To be honest, he's behaved so appallingly this year, I've lost interest in who he's with and how long. I think I would have known if it had been going on long because he's a lazy liar. I am cautious about it being genuine because its all happened so fast, hastily moved on by his illness I think.

Letsadmitit Fri 30-Aug-13 23:42:29

The problem is that he doesn't seem likely to agree to that is he? If so, no problem but if he takes her to court on the grounds that she is blocking contact because she doesn't want him to introduce the child to the new person, the court won't see this as protective but as controlling and self centered.

Absolutelylost Fri 30-Aug-13 23:43:29

The only thing that may confuse her us you not taking the time to kindly explain that you and her dad are no longer together and that despite if you living apart you will continue to love her very much.

Well, obviously, I've done this, repeatedly.

Absolutelylost Fri 30-Aug-13 23:44:31

I'm not blocking contact at all, I think it's too early to play happy families, 7 weeks after moving out.

AintNobodyGotTimeFurThat Fri 30-Aug-13 23:45:05

I think if he has any regard for his daughters emotional wellbeing that he will agree that he should leave it a while before he introduces this new 'friend' to his daughter.

I agree with the OP though 5 year olds aren't as dim as everyone thinks they are. When my parents had arguments when I was 4/5 I knew exactly what it was they were arguing about. They got on a lot better now, but we had some real troubles with my sister.

I think if he is sensible enough and agrees to meeting up with his DD for a nice long day together every week or every other week for a few months, then maybe things could be discussed about at that stage introducing the new 'friend' in one of those meetings then a few months down the line, to stay with them.

But honestly, it would confuse her understanding of home life. She has known Mummy and Daddy together and that is it. I think discovering so soon he is with someone else and not her Mum might be quite shocking and upsetting to her, even if she is quite young.

I could be wrong, but then I could be right.

I think it shouldn't get to the stage of court. If the father has any emotional caring for his daughter he will agree to this. If not, I can't see the court disagreeing that it could confuse her and upset her more if she was put in this position. Besides if she is introduced too soon she might actually end up disliking this other woman, feeling she has taken her father away. If it's a gradual thing, it will seem more natural and comfortable for her and be less confusing.

Sorry about that novel, OP.

Absolutelylost Fri 30-Aug-13 23:46:11

He's living with this one now, so it's a bit unrealistic to say DD can't meet her..

I'm not saying that, I think it's far too soon, in my view. But obviously not everyone agrees.

Letsadmitit Fri 30-Aug-13 23:46:18

Yes but contact is not about his behaviour or yours, it is about your child being able to keep having and developing a relationship with the other parent, if he is not a danger to her, you can't say when he is allowed to introduce new partners. that's not your call anymore, as a separated couple he doesn't need your agreement for pretty much anything sad

AintNobodyGotTimeFurThat Fri 30-Aug-13 23:48:28

But at the same time let is it fair for one parent to make the decisions at all? Because then it is only his opinion that matters.

Surely he could just try for a minute to be a decent man and think what is best for his daughter and either agree or perhaps meet the OP halfway (like introducing her but only on days out visits instead of staying at his, for example).

I am just thinking as a child how that would've messed me up, to be honest.

Absolutelylost Fri 30-Aug-13 23:48:37

I think it should be a joint discussion. I have to have regard for her welfare.

Bant Fri 30-Aug-13 23:49:16

it seems perfectly reasonable - you're no longer acting the part of his wife, you're just the mother of your DD.

You're protecting your DD's wellbeing by not letting her be introduced to a woman who he has only known a month, has not, presumably, been CRB checked and apart from that seeing a series of random girlfriends sharing a bed with her father will have a negative impact on your DD.

I'd refuse to let my DC stay with someone I didn't know and had no reason to trust. It's not a case of not seeing her father, it's a case of not staying in a house with some random person. Several months in a relationship with my Ex would at least imply some level of 'trustworthiness' or at least potential longevity.

Letsadmitit Fri 30-Aug-13 23:50:10

If you make an issue of it, you won't be able to stop it but might be creating a hell for you, and much more so, for your DD for years to come.

There was another thread on this this week that you may like to read, let me see if I can find it. One sec

AintNobodyGotTimeFurThat Fri 30-Aug-13 23:50:55

I hope you can both reach a sensible agreement together.

Except from the affairs is he a good Dad and a reasonable person in general?

Absolutelylost Fri 30-Aug-13 23:53:44

Apart from the fact he has been utterly reckless with money, lies almost continuously and got us into a hideous amount of debt, think 6 figures!? Just don't know any more. And I'm not allowed to express any dissatisfaction as it causes stress to his heart...

notanyanymore Fri 30-Aug-13 23:53:52

if you let things slip for any longer he might lose interest in having contact with his DD altogether hmm best he did her a favour a fucked off now then!
Of course its too soon and would be confusing, 5yo is not young enough not to notice. He's being a selfish idiot and putting his needs/laziness ahead of his childs.

notanyanymore Fri 30-Aug-13 23:55:12

I agree with Bant

Absolutelylost Fri 30-Aug-13 23:57:25

Suspect the debt is really what he's running from. But it will follow him. Did I mention I'm his 4th wife but this is his only child. He is showing little interest in my older children, and he's been their stepdad for 8 years.

Letsadmitit Fri 30-Aug-13 23:58:55

Here , why you shouldn't make an issue of it explained by other divorced/separated mums.

Letsadmitit Sat 31-Aug-13 00:00:12

Sorry, wrong thread... let me find the right one..

Bant Sat 31-Aug-13 00:02:22

He sounds like a turd.

You have every right, and in fact the moral responsibility, to insist that your DD does not spend the night in a place with someone you don't know, or trust. Insist on her getting a CRB check if needs be, and meeting her, before letting her stay. Make sure you're not responsible for the debt, if possible.

Having said that, it is good for your DD to continue to have a relationship with her father, you should make that clear. It's just that she shouldn't be meeting his new girlfriend as that will confuse and upset her. And shouldn't be overnighting with someone who may be out of the picture in the next few weeks, and may have a pathological hatred of kids, a criminal record for assault, anything.

Absolutelylost Sat 31-Aug-13 00:02:24

She is cross with him already for leaving, though I say all the right things and encourage her to talk on the phone to him. Sometimes she runs off crying and hides behind doors. It's awful.

Absolutelylost Sat 31-Aug-13 00:04:03

Well, sadly, have to admit she is a nurse with a senior position in the NHS, so she's probably ok but that's not really the point!

Letsadmitit Sat 31-Aug-13 00:04:14

here, it is called my kids meeting the new girlfriend.

scallopsrgreat Sat 31-Aug-13 00:05:09

If you let the things slip for longer he may loose interest in having contact with his DD altogether. hmm Really? What kind of father would lose interest in his seeing his DD because she didn't stay for a weekend for a while? The OP isn't denying contact just doesn't think it is appropriate to stay overnight at the moment. Nothing unreasonable about that. Even if she were denying contact why would her ex lose interest in his own daughter?

Letsadmitit Sat 31-Aug-13 00:07:02

Bant, have you ever seen a court battle for residence/contact at close range? I cannot believe what you are suggesting...

CRB check for the new girlfriend? she asks for that and there dies any possibility for the OP and her ex to coparent that child properly in the future. hmm

Bant Sat 31-Aug-13 00:07:36

It's not the point, no. The point is you aren't comfortable (and you can't be expected to be) comfortable with your daughter spending the night with a complete stranger so soon after her father has moved out.

It shows a callous disregard on his part, and I think you would be doing the right thing to insist on no overnights for several months if she is going to be there. To paraphrase letsadmitit on the other thread - you're trying to make the transition as smooth as possible for your DD, and there being another woman in the situation, who will likely be resented for stealing her father away, will just make things worse.

SisterMonicaJoan Sat 31-Aug-13 00:10:46

I think your ex should be concentrating on the relationship with his daughter rather than pretending he's father of the year to his latest gf.

It's clear you are trying to protect your DD feelings OP, not tryingto score ponts against your ex - I don't know what Letsadmitit is reading into your posts? confused

Absolutelylost Sat 31-Aug-13 00:12:12

Callous disregard is exactly what I think it is, it's all about him not wanting to come here and it makes him feel uncomfortable and guilty. He has walked out of all four marriages, just wants to airbrush out the rest if us as quickly as possible and move onto life number 5.

Bant Sat 31-Aug-13 00:12:30

letsadmitit - that other thread is about meeting the a new girlfriend in a park, twice, 7 months after the split. This one is about staying over at the womans house 6 or 7 weeks afterwards, with her father presumably sharing a bed with the woman. Completely different situation.

No, I haven't seen a court battle close up, as my ex and I agreed on terms like adults, including no introductions to new partners until we'd been with them for 6 months. I don't want my kids meeting some random man or woman who is their mum or dads new special friend until they've at least proved they're not going to disappear after a few weeks.

Letsadmitit Sat 31-Aug-13 00:12:58

According to Gingerbread, a huge percentage of non resident parents are no longer in contact 3 years after the split. I can assure you that neither me or all those other exwives would have believed that could be even possible.

Bant Sat 31-Aug-13 00:17:19

No one is saying that the OP should try and prevent contact - however it's a case of simply not being introduced to the OW so soon. If the ex has a problem with that, and is going to 'lose interest' then there is a vanishingly small chance he'll stay in touch anyway for more than three years.

The bloke has repeatedly cheated, run up debt, lives some fantasy life and runs away from responsibility - and wives. I think the OP should say she has no problem with him spending time with their DD, she can even stay overnight, but not when he's sharing a bed with someone else as it will confuse and hurt her.

Letsadmitit Sat 31-Aug-13 00:17:36

Ok, I have been helping mums to self represent in court over the last three years, and the best way to sort things out for the children is for both parents being reasonable as both you and your ex were, because once the courts are involved is a downward spiral.

Not wanting the child to meet the other person is not a reasonable ground for contact to be delayed, stopped or conditioned unless her father agrees to it. If he agrees, problem sorted. If not, and he goes to court... that's when life becomes a misery.

Absolutelylost Sat 31-Aug-13 00:17:39

I really am not trying to score points, obviously it's hugely painful for me, I don't want to spend time without my DD and despite what I've said, it's the debts he's running away from (as in the past). We had a good marriage for most of the time and I still love him. I think it's all ridiculously fast for a 5 year old who's still getting used to him not being at home.

scallopsrgreat Sat 31-Aug-13 00:22:31

a huge percentage of non resident parents are no longer in contact 3 years after the split. I can believe that is true Letsadmitit. I don't think it is the OPs responsibility to keep his 'interest' though by allowing contact she very reasonably feels uncomfortable with. It is the NRPs responsibility to keep contact. Women are not responsible for men's behaviour (and it is mainly men who lose contact).

Absolutelylost Sat 31-Aug-13 00:24:02

I have been hugely reasonable throughout the whole thing, despite the way he has treated me and my children. I am dealing with all the debt because he sticks his head in the sand, I keep him posted daily with all the stuff I am doing to deal with our joint responsibilities.

I am not talking about her not going there ever, just not weekends for a while!

It may be that when new lady discovers debt she might not be quite as keen anyway....

Letsadmitit Sat 31-Aug-13 00:24:39

I believe you, and I understand where are you coming from. I know it should be incredibly painful for you.

scallopsrgreat Sat 31-Aug-13 00:24:53

I also don't think that the OP should compensate for his bad behaviour. He is the one who is behaving badly and unreasonably here. Not the OP. Absolutelylost is not being unreasonable with her concerns.

Bant Sat 31-Aug-13 00:27:34

I agree with Scallop

Absolutelylost Sat 31-Aug-13 00:31:18

She is currently asleep in bed beside me, because she wants to be near me all the time. I just don't think it's right to put her through it until the relationship is a little more established and she has come to terms with him not being here any more.

ThatsNontents Sat 31-Aug-13 00:32:22

He's been married four times?

And he still keeps going back for more?

Letsadmitit Sat 31-Aug-13 00:33:40

Ok, it is not about his behaviour or hers. I understand where she is coming from, and agree that in an ideal situation that would be the right thing to do, but...When dealing with the arrangements to care for the children and contact, the court will not want to hear about debts, affairs and probably won't even care if he stops paying child maintenance (that's an issue for the defunct CSA to sort, aparently [!!!]).. It will be all about facilitating contact, as long as he is not a danger to his child.

Absolutelylost Sat 31-Aug-13 00:33:43

Yep, and had a couple of live in relationships too. But only one child and he has always been a devoted father.

Absolutelylost Sat 31-Aug-13 00:38:51

I don't trust the genuineness of this relationship because it has all happened so fast and is a very convenient way for him to sidestep his responsibilities and move into a shiny new life. That's my concern for my DD, it feels like she's an accessory. To be frank, he didn't seem as bothered about her as I was expecting when he first moved out. I felt I was the one pushing for contact....

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sat 31-Aug-13 00:41:52

No one said she was being unreasonable with her concerns. I said that sometimes you just have to accept that certain things aren't ideal, but that you cannot control every aspect of your childs life when you are no longer together. He is entitled to introduce her to who he likes and sleep with who he likes - whether the OP likes it or not. Unless there are any reasonable grounds to be concerned about her DD's safety, the OP doesn't get to dictate who her DD spends her time with when she is in his care. She can ask but that's it. She can refuse overnights if she wants to go to court about it and yes, that will delay it happening, but it will also cost them a lot of ££

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sat 31-Aug-13 00:43:45

I felt I was the one pushing for contact.... be careful what you wish for sad

As I said, I would ask DD and be guided by that.

Absolutelylost Sat 31-Aug-13 00:47:14

We have no ££! I actually think he will compromise, he is quite cowardly really and has told me in the past he is fearful of getting lawyers involved. He always emails me difficult conversations, then turns his phone off. He isn't thinking about her at all, that's what we need to talk about.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sat 31-Aug-13 00:56:33

Don't bother to try talking to him about 'not thinking about her' in general - you wont change his behaviour - he's a selfish arse. Just tell him what is and isn't going to happen. I'd base that on DD's wants/needs alone - not what I wanted and certainly not what he wants.

How old are your other DC? How are they coping?

Absolutelylost Sat 31-Aug-13 01:05:51

Others are 21 (lives away), 17 and 13. They're not that fussed at the moment really. My 17 yr old DD won't speak to him, the boys are a bit more forgiving. There's been no mention of how he's going to maintain a relationship with 13 yr old DS. Suspect he's up for airbrushing too...

FrancescaBell Sat 31-Aug-13 01:06:35

In the initial aftermath of a break-up, when a child this age is still getting to grips with the change, it's essential that she has one-to-one time with the parent she sees less of. The attention she gets should not be diluted by the presence of 'friends' at all. I also agree with other posters that 5 year olds are far more intuitive than many adults seem to believe and she will probably be able to sense that this woman is a new girlfriend who lives with him. It would be far better if she saw him on his own for at least a few months until a new 'habit' is formed.

Unfortunately this completely common-sense approach based on children's and not adults' needs, holds no water legally. So all you can do as a parent is to try to reason with the other parent and focus on what will be best for the child concerned.

Is your ex-husband used to caring for your daughter single-handedly for any length of time? If not, he might be using the other woman as an extra pair of hands because he is incompetent at childcare.

Absolutelylost Sat 31-Aug-13 01:09:22

I wouldn't say he's incompetent to be fair, but he was suffering from depression October-March or so and did less than he used to. Then he started a busy full time job and I felt then that he had backed off slightly from her care.

Absolutelylost Sat 31-Aug-13 01:20:34

And I forgot to mention, he's also on about one night per week and dropping her to school. I also think a 40 minute journey to school is a long one for a 5 yr old who lives 5 mins walk away.

FrancescaBell Sat 31-Aug-13 01:39:04

Ah, the old 'depression' ruse that gets rolled out to cover up for the fact there's an affair.

Let me guess. He wasn't ever diagnosed with depression and in fact sought no treatment? But behaved as though he was severely depressed?

Obviously, you know that no-one moves in with a new partner this quickly.

40 minutes to get to school is not ideal for a 5 year old, no.

But if you do end up having to agree to this and can't reason with him to spend time with her on his own for an evening in the week (dropping her home afterwards) and somewhere neutral at the weekends, do make sure he buys spare clothes and uniform and does all her washing etc. while she's there.

I'd try reasoning with him first, based on his daughter's needs.

It doesn't sound like he's thinking of her at all in any of this.

Absolutelylost Sat 31-Aug-13 01:52:39

This wasn't the affair the depression was covering, that was another affair. I can't get any sleep, I am lying awake, absolutely fucking fuming. His selfishness is absolutely overwhelming. How I am going to see him tomorrow without stabbing him, I don't know.

FrancescaBell Sat 31-Aug-13 01:58:10

Oh my word. Another affair?

I'm not surprised you're fuming. I expect you tiptoed around him for ages and were sympathetic to his 'depression' eh?

Anger is good. You've every right to be angry.

Letsadmitit Sat 31-Aug-13 02:04:03

you know, that long journey to school may be a blessing in disguise. your DD will get 40 mins of dedicated attention during it, it is also a time without many distractions where they would have time to talk.

DS was going to a school 45 minutes away, and he still goes on on how much he misses those times in the car hearing music, singing together and talking with either of us. I have to say that I miss those times them too. It was such a special time.

Absolutelylost Sat 31-Aug-13 02:30:19

I've tiptoed around him for a year. I am utterly sick and tired of him. I have tried to be sympathetic, tried to understand the pressure he's been under etc etc but he hasn't given me a seconds thought throughout. Then there was the cybersex affair just before he moved out. And we were sleeping together till the day he moved out. So, if he was already seeing this woman, he was certainly keeping his options open. Hence my feeling that its not very genuine and my concern re introducing my little DD.

Unless there are concerns about safety (ie a new partner is an alcoholic or violent, or the XP is an alcoholic/violent/utterly useless at meeting DCs' needs) you have to suck it up. Would you be happy for your XP to insist on vetting and vetoing any friends or lovers or dates of yours? It's actually a pretty good thing for children to learn that adult relationships are variable, not just heteromonogamous, and that adults have friends and 'special' friends, but Mummy and Daddy are still Mummy and Daddy and still love the DC and always will, no matter how many special friends they do or don't have.

Absolutelylost Sat 31-Aug-13 05:44:51

I think you're coming at this from a different angle to me SGB.

Absolutelylost Sat 31-Aug-13 05:45:41

It's not about me vetoing anyone, it's about the haste if it all.

Absolutelylost Sat 31-Aug-13 08:34:41

Have been awake brooding on and off all night. No idea how I will be able to have any kind of conversation when he comes later. Spoke to two different Samaritans during the night. They were ace.

feelinlucky Sat 31-Aug-13 09:01:51

Hi op, I have experience of a similar situation. I understand your worry. I spent a lot of emotional energy mulling it over. I didn't want my son to suffer not having a relationship with his dad so I put my own feelings to one side. Unfortunately, his cock of a father decided there wasn't enough room in his life for a partner and a child and rarely sees his son now but at least I gave him every opportunity to maintain a relationship. It's a hard thing to do but honestly I really think you should allow him to continue his relationship with his child. Good luck with it all.

mammadiggingdeep Sat 31-Aug-13 09:18:52

I think I agree with you op. If it was a well established relationship then perhaps it would be a different matter but 7 weeks is a joke! Your DD deserves a chance to spend some time with dad alone as she slowly adjusts to the new scenario. To be honest, he should want some time on his own with DD shouldn't he?? Where it's just the 2 of them. The contact on a school night thing would also worry me.....anything that might affect the next day at school is to be avoided.....I think it's really important to remember her age. 5 is still so young.....
My advice is to go with your heart op. I don't think you're thinking of yourself/ relationship with xp, to me it comes across that you really are considering your DD and her needs in this.

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?

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.

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 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.

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.....

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 19:22:37

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 19:28:38

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 19:31:09

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

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.

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.

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.

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 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 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

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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