DS's dad's new relationship with GF and child

(20 Posts)
deelite72 Sun 16-Mar-14 23:25:42

Tender is the heart.
My DS (12) came back from his first w/e with dad and new GF (who will be a step parent if all goes well). She has a 3 1/2 year old DD. A bit of history: dad and I have been divorced 10 years. I'm remarried, expecting my third child. My DD from second marriage is about the same age as my ex husband's GF's DD. Does that all make sense?? :-)
Anyway, my ex has just gotten involved with this lady (it's been about a month or two, not really sure. It's very new). I was really happy for him because he's been floating around for years on his own. So anyhow, our boy met the GF and her kid this weekend. But what surprised me was how sad and hurt I felt when he came home tonight, he was so unkind to his little sister. He seemed to have so much more fun with this other little girl and was saying things like, "I love my sister, but 'soandso' is cuter. She's so much nicer and she plays so much better with toys than my sister. She also is so much lighter in weight." He just went on and on. When he went to bed, I really teared up and started crying. It really hurt. I know, I know. I am being a wuss and I am preggers. But man, it did hurt in a way I thought I could rise above. Also dad has suddenly asked if he can take our DS to India for a month over Xmas 2014 hols- but DS would have to miss at least a week or possibly two of school because in order to make it a 'family holiday' with the new GF and her DD, they have to wait until GF's DD is back from spending Christmas with her dad. This really ticked me off! Of course I won't let our DS miss school for a week, possibly two, to accommodate the contact order of someone else. I just worry: is this how it's going to be, my DS becoming critical of his little sis and dad making unreasonable demands around his relationship? Or does it all sort of smooth over? I know I'm not a step parent, but I'd appreciate input from those dealing with such issues. Thanks for listening.

RandomInternetStranger Sun 16-Mar-14 23:33:23

A month is extremely early to be introducing a new partner & child & talking about holidays! No way would I allow that & ex and I have a strict "at LEAST 6 months" rule before we introduce new partners - I was seeing someone last year for 11 months who DD knew nothing of at all because I wasn't certain he was "the one". As for the holiday - hell no. Not a chance. And I can well understand why you feel upset, DD just has to mention her father's gf and I want to stab the whore in the eye with a fork. If she had children and went on about them as preferable to mine I'd be gutted.

Russianfudge Mon 17-Mar-14 06:56:00

I quite literally can't believe I just read that post. I've just been explaining to my 14 year old why we don't use words like "whore" when describing other women. Rather exasperating it was but she's only a kid. Shame really as it discounts a perfectly sensible post.

Back to the OP. What is your relationship like with your ex? Can you tell him about your concerns? If Dad has been single for 10 years it is possible that he has been incredibly picky and that she is indeed "the one". Or he's got bored of being alone and settled with the first available woman grin

Either way, dare I say that your son's comments seem rather immature. Is there a chance that he is A, trying to get a rise out if you, or B, that a lot of this didn't actually happen?

Kids are funny with the info they pass between houses. In my own experience you are best to get all the facts before you get upset. Regards the holiday - if they were sat around the table talking about how they'd like to go to Australia, and they'd like to take DS, gf could pipe up "ah but Dd is with her dad over Xmas". Dad then casually says "ah well, we'll just take DS out of school then! Right son??"

Son brings the info home to you as gospel because, well, they like to see what'll happen.

Stay calm, don't rise to it, and let it all play out. You don't have to agree to the weeks out if school, if they happen. Simple as that.

How long did you wait until you introduced ds to your new partner, OP? Apologies if you said but I'm on my phone and I can't now reread your op. If it was ten years ago he's probably forgotten anyway but if not, and you didn't wait all that long then he may be following your lead.

FrogbyAnotherName Mon 17-Mar-14 06:57:24

Unless your exH is under your thumb, then you have no way of influencing when he chooses to introduce his partner to your DS - if it is a whirlwind romance, no matter how misguided you think he is, he could choose to marry his g/f next week!

Yes, it's likely that once your son is part of their blended family, the co parenting decisions you will be making with your ex will inevitably be influenced by the plans of the wider family. Just as your ex has faced regarding your own family. But, that doesn't change how you parent - putting your DS needs and best interests first, and negotiating and compromising with his Dad.

And the novelty of 'new friends' will wear off with your son. There's no harm in reminding your DS how his words can hurt, he's 12 and is old enough to be taught empathy and tact - but I'm sure you know, in your heart, that he doesn't mean it.

Russianfudge Mon 17-Mar-14 06:57:47

Also, they could have been together much longer than a month or two. Do you know for sure how long?

HollyWhiteAlwaysWearsAHat Mon 17-Mar-14 07:03:46

I think his dad is playing a dangerous game introducing her as the possible new Stepmother after such a short time, but at least your son doesn't live there - this poor little three year old girl is being conditioned waay to soon for something that may not ever happen, or may happen to quickly and then not work out.

However, Christmas is ages away, and if they are still together then, fair enough.

I think your son is just being swept along with his Dad's new found happiness and positivity, and that's a nice thing. Better that, than he's sulky, rude and resentful about his Dad dating someone. I wouldn't worry about the thing with your DD. He's in a honeymoobn period with this little girl and he wants to like her for his Dad's sake. Give him a year or two to start taking her for granted and give her a chance to start getting on his nerves like his own sister and it will all level out, I'm sure. I think you are being a bit hormonal about it. wink

But if he keeps it up, do say to him gently that this little girl may not always be in his life, whereas your DD will, and she needs him to be on her side, not to put her down and compare her unfavourably to others.

HollyWhiteAlwaysWearsAHat Mon 17-Mar-14 07:05:27

And I agree about the holiday thing BTW. He needs to put his own son's needs first, not expect him to work around the girlfriend and her child.

FrogbyAnotherName Mon 17-Mar-14 07:08:49

But if he keeps it up, do say to him gently that this little girl may not always be in his life, whereas your DD will, and she needs him to be on her side, not to put her down and compare her unfavourably to others.

I agree with the second part of this - reminding your DS it is unfair and unpleasant to compare his sister to others.

I really wouldn't suggest to him that his dads g/f dd may not always be in his life, though.
If that is repeated to dad after being filtered by a 12 year old, it could seriously damage friendly relations between OP and her ex:
"Mum says you and G/F may split up so I shouldn't like g/f or g/f dd"

shey02 Mon 17-Mar-14 10:22:51

Your son's comments are perhaps immature and of course they have inadvertantly hurt you, but..... these things will smooth over. He is caught up a bit in the excitement of it all and that is harmless.

PLEASE do not say anything to turn him against them or undermine the dad and gf's relationship, that's totally not fair. If you make him choose, he will choose you and his time with dad and other family will be fraught with pain, guilt and problems for you. He will always love you best and his live-in sister will always come first. But it's a GOOD thing if he accepts and loves the other family too. It's a credit to you and how you have raised him that he is able to accept a new family, don't change that, you don't have to.

Last things; the holiday, I would not accept a week or two out of school. Just say no, perhaps another time, if it is school holidays, simples. And a chat with your son about peoples feelings, about comparing, about critisizing, is in order. He is young, it's something he needs to learn as he grows up. He can feel free to enjoy time with the other family, but he doesn't need to tell you every detail and verbal comparasins are hurtful, as adults we don't do it and neither should he.

Russianfudge Mon 17-Mar-14 10:41:34

shey - wise words

deelite72 Mon 17-Mar-14 10:48:31

Thanks a million all of you for the varying morsels of food for thought. I really appreciate it. I posted on this forum mainly because I was interested in hearing the points of view of those who have experienced being the mum, the dad, the step-parent. It's a bit of an eggshell walk. I was more taken aback by how emotionally overcome I felt about DS negativism towards little sis. Of course, I wouldn't show him my feelings. It was a little immature of me. :-) But it stung a bit, I won't lie. I don't want to impart any negative feeling onto DS, especially as he forges his own relationship with dad's GF and child. I don't want him to feel awkward or guilty for me or insecure about developing a closeness with new people. One of the things I love about kids is that they have such open hearts and minds, so I don't really want to mess with that by being divisive. This was done to me when I remarried. I went through a bumpy patch with ex at that time, but we got over it. It wasn't easy seeing a step-parent come in and live full time with his son. I got that and understood how that must have felt, so even though it wasn't an easy time, we worked through it. So the fact that meeting the GF and her DD was a really positive experience for my DS is great and I am glad of this. It is a good thing, I get that totally. But I also play by the rules (boring, I know). Ex is a bit relaxed and a bit 'non-conformist', so adventure and exploring life comes first and responsibilities like 'school' are considered by him to be very beneficial, but at the same time, a bit soul-destroying. He's not too wrong on that one. Two weeks in India is far more of an education than school, he would say. Again, he's not wrong at all, but the actual practice of removing our son from school for a week or two just isn't something I would agree with unless a loved one passed away or something quite crucial came up. I suppose I worry that such demands will increase in time and I will become seen as a naysayer in such events. Perhaps, just perhaps I should just wait to cross that bridge when I come to it and worry when I need to worry. Your words have been very helpful, kind, and clarifying. Thank you all. I just need to TRUST. Sometimes, I just utter that one word to myself when I feel anxious. And it's a powerful word. Thanks again.

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 17-Mar-14 10:53:17

It's the novelty; he will soon get bored of her.

However two weeks in India - wow! Fantastic at any age. And in the middle of winter. Dead jealous of that one.

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 17-Mar-14 10:54:27

p.s...you did choose a non conformist to have a kid with, so you knew what sort of things he might be expected to do with his kid.

deelite72 Mon 17-Mar-14 11:02:47

That's a bit unnecessary FunkyBoldRibena. That's just not a relevant question. I have been married twice. Both times for love... not labels. But I loosely describe him as such in the way that I loosely describe myself, a bit of stickler for the rules, a, dare I say, conformist. That's just me. We had an awesome little boy together whom we totally love and want to do right by. That's sort of the Big Picture here. My issue is NOT the trip to India. It's about missing a week or two of school because the GF's kid's schedule with HER own dad needs accommodating. Capisce? Ya dig? Read both my posts... please.

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 17-Mar-14 11:12:39

Lol. Which bit isn't necessary? That the trip would be amazing or that you can't expect someone to be a non-conformist when you described them as that in the first place?

If you don't want other ideas and just wanted people to agree with you - you should have specified it in the original post.

shey02 Mon 17-Mar-14 12:23:17

Good response OP, you've got your son and your family's peace and harmony in mind. However, there's no reason to budge on the non-holiday time, I wouldn't allow it and my ex and I get on great... Start as you mean to go on with these things. Your first response with this India trip will set the precedent for other trips. It would still be an amazing trip during school holidays! smile

Russianfudge Mon 17-Mar-14 14:00:47

Luckily with the holiday thing, and unlike lots of issues that may come up, you will have the backing of the school if you say no. So I really wouldn't sweat it.

Sure, your DS won't thank you for it, there will no doubt be a "but Dad would let me!!" outburst. But it won't be the first or last time that he dislikes what his mum says smile

Good luck OP, you have the right attitude towards it all. You will have wobbles. No one likes these kinds of situations, no matter how much they claim to have everything sorted.

On a tangential note, I have three DC and they have (among others) a cousin who is very much the same age as (my DC3) DD2. We see them probably three or four times a year and DD1 will play nicely for hours with the cousin, they follow each other around and will chatter away to each other, DD1 looks forward to seeing her and talks excitedly about it beforehand and afterwards -- it's the relationship that I wish DD1 and DD2 had. It's very easy to have a perfect "sibling-style" relationship with someone you don't have to live with day in day out.

mymiraclebubba Mon 17-Mar-14 20:07:04

I agree with others that it is probably just the novelty of someone new and after a few weeks he will settle back down.

As for the holiday, if things are going well with exh and the new gf why not let him go? India would be an amazing experience for him!! Ok the taking him out of school could be an issue and worth a discussion with your exh about but I wouldn't veto it based on an emotional reaction to this contact weekend.

Your exh and his gf may well have been together a lot longer than you think, he just may have respected you and your ds enough not to have mentioned or introduced until he was certain she was the right person for him.

I would suggest taking a step back and separating the holiday from the issues around your dd vs the potential. Dssis iyswim and then deal with one at a time

Good luck

brdgrl Wed 19-Mar-14 18:15:35

*I really wouldn't suggest to him that his dads g/f dd may not always be in his life, though.
If that is repeated to dad after being filtered by a 12 year old, it could seriously damage friendly relations between OP and her ex:
"Mum says you and G/F may split up so I shouldn't like g/f or g/f dd"*

I'm shocked by this idea, actually...not just because of what frog says above, but actually, this is really unkind to both your son and the other little girl, and potentially damaging to children that have already had some experience of loss. sad

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