Cannot deal with the EX.(29 Posts)
I'm just looking for some advice. I have been with OH 8 years, (not the OW or even close to it, he had three relationships since the split with the ex, before me, thought I'd include that due to the recent fixation on this site with whether you are the OW or not lol) and he has two DD from his ex. We have 3 kids together, our DD being one week old.
His ex, to put it short was/is a nightmare. I have had to completely disengage from the situation, and leave OH to parent his DDs with no input from me.
This has been the situation for years. It is not something that was done easily, but there is a fair bit of a back story here. His ex was horrified he had married me when he hadn't married her, (mainly down to her dropping her pants for everybody but her partner), and mortified when we had our eldest DC. His DDs were made to feel very welcome by me, not pushed out when DC1 arrived, in fact I think there was a fair bit of overcompensation tbh. One day when DC1 was around 12 months old, his eldest DD walked into the house, into the living room, and slapped DC1 round the fact so hard she fell over and one side of her face swelled up. When asked why she had done that, she answered 'Mummy said to, I can do what I like here and neither of you can tell me off.' When the EX was confronted she laughed, 'what happens here is your problem.' I was infuriated by OH Disney style parenting approach to this, and the situation got worse.
A lot happened in the six months that led to the clincher, but when DC1 was around 18 months, the ex and my oh were arguing on my front door step. I never got involved with the arguments, I supported OH when his daughters were here, but contact arrangements, maintenance, parenting issues, any discussions were between him and the ex. I was very careful to respect boundaries and try to keep the peace. I suppose by this point I was already starting to disengage, and quite frankly was exhausted with my own child and working and housework etc. The row was over OH being unable to have the girls on her weekend as we had a wedding to go to (OHs family). They had been invited to the wedding but the ex had said no they weren't going. The meal was a sit down meal, and this was the night before the wedding, far to late to arrange anything, and the family member was close enough for it to be impossible for us not to go. The night before, she had been invited on a last minute girls night out, and wanted us to have them. OH after pleading with her for them to go and repeatedly being told no, said he couldn't. She threw a fit, effing this, effing that, smashed up my front porch, my front garden and the wing mirrors on my car. I came to the door with our LO in my arms and told him to shut the door, its not good for our LO to hear this (DSD were at home), and to talk about it when its calmed down. She turned and said 'You think you're so fucking perfect' and punched me straight in the face, which sent me flying with my LO in my arms. Luckily no one was hurt, (apart from a black eye the next day). OH shut the door, we phoned the police. She was arrested for criminal damage and assault, but after OH begged me not to press charges, and paid for the damage to my car I dropped it. I was quite annoyed at how he didn't seem to think she deserved consequences for her behaviour, but left it.
I did however make it clear I did not want this woman at our home again. He was to drop off/pick up or handover somewhere else not near our home. I even moved. I told him the practicalities of this were his problem, and that I wouldn't have our LO effected. The ex said If she couldn't see where they were, they couldn't go. So contact has been for years at his Mums house. All weekend every other week, and one night after school. He stops at his mums. His girls have been banned from any contact with our LOs, me, or our home, to the point they have never met our other kids. I have left it, for different reasons, mainly too tired for this to carry on and don't want to keep arguing with OH over it. I also think this is an issue for OH to deal with, and would have had no problem with my LOs going with him, but the ex is having an eppie fit at this. Their contact time with Dad is not in any way allowed to be shared.
Recently, the eldest has been making noises about not wanting to stay at her nans, and come to her dads home. She wants our kids to go to her nans, and her and her sister stay by themselves. That for a start isn't going to happen. I don't know how I feel about having them back in my life anyway, and around my LOs. Especially as the ex has also stated she will doing drop offs/pick ups, will want to look around our house and make sure all plans for the weekend are run past her. I am thinking balls to that, and if this grief is going to start again, id rather just walk. I feel horrible, but I wonder if I have the strength to deal with this, and worry about what could happen to my LOs.
What do I do?
Congratulations on your new baby. How awful though that the early days are affected by this sad situation.
My initial thoughts are that he's mad to have got involved with this woman but you didn't choose to have her in your life.
I suspect you've had the conversation many times, but perhaps he didn't think you're serious. At the moment it sound like he will allow his ex and their children to dictate terms and behaves like this is inevitable, so you've no reason to think it'll change or improve. If you tell him that you're ready to end your marriage I wonder if he'll get the motivation to change things. It sounds like your own children see him as much now as they would if you were separated, e.g. eow with one set of children, eow with the other set. So really you don't have full-time support from him anyway.
Thoughts- are the pil willing to facilitate access with his other children indefinitely? If not, he had to find another option and your home is sensibly out of bounds. Water he comes up with- hotel, days out rather than overnights, not your problem but your house is not an option.
A bigger issue though for me is what you tell your own children about this situation and what lessons they're learning about normal family life. I assume your eldest is max 6 or 7, so old enough to notice and ask questions.
I think for me the bug issue is protecting the emotional health and physical safety of you, your children and your home. If he can't or won't ensure your health and safety then he has no complaint if you tell him to go.
I think both you and your OH have been in an impossible situation for a while now. He is doing everything he can to maintain a relationship with his children and I think he deserves some respect for that. It must have been gutting that charges weren't pressed but this is his children's mother and pressing charges would have had knock on effects for the children. There are many men who would have just given up on their kids in this situation which is what I suspect is what his ex wants. It is also very difficult with an ex who is totally uncompromising.
Equally though, it must be absolutely horrible for you having to put up with all that crap. Being on your own with your own children every other weekend must be a nightmare - I hope you have friends and family around you to support. Sounds like you need to have a real heart to heart about this - not easily done with a very young baby, sleep deprivation and all that. You both need to understand how the other person feels. I hope he really appreciates your support and the difficult time you have had with this situation.
Have they tried mediation? Solicitors? Court? Because she has no right to dictate the terms of contact to him.
Congratulations on baby dd.
I don't think I've ever been made as angry reading an op, as I did reading yours. You have put up with so much, for so long. Put yourself and your dc first, do whatever you need to protect them.
I'm so glad you have the support of your mum and MIL, she sounds rather wonderful.
Firstly, congratulations on your DD . She is so tiny, you should be able to enjoy this time without stress so I hope you work things out soon.
Just wanted to say that, a few years back, I read some advice on MN that suggested avoiding major decisions while pg or for a year after having DC. Without that, I would be a single mum right now as some difficult situations that still aren't properly sorted felt utterly overwhelming when sleep-deprived, hormonal etc. I still struggle with DH's ex and the contact situation but I'm now glad I held on and things are gradually getting better. Things like having your mum to stay are a much better way of dealing with things while you have so much on your plate imho.
With the ex, I think the situation will now have to be faced as it is not fair for you (or DH) to be apart from each other eow. But you don't have to be involved in this process - your DH needs to sort it out. Could you, he and MIL sit down to discuss? Sounds like she is a powerful ally and will back you up. Or the heart to heart suggested up thread. Work together on this. Your DH will be finding it really hard so, if possible, try to avoid talking about ultimatums even if that's what it boils down to eventually. People can be very stubborn if they feel backed into a corner and, I don't know about you, but a stubborn irrational man is the last thing I can deal with shortly after giving birth!!
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