ExH new partner.....

(84 Posts)
badgerread Mon 29-Feb-16 10:55:17

My exH and I split up 6 years ago. I have had a new partner for 3.5years (we don't live together) he has had one for 2.5 years and has just moved in with her and her 4 children (2.5hrs drive away)

We have two DS together (11 & 6) and up until 3/4 months ago had an amicable relationship. We would go to parents evening, school plays together, he would pop in and chat about the boys when dropping them off etc. Now the relationship has broken down. His new GF wants to arrange all contact and arrangements and he now never responds to my texts/calls and will only ever speak to me if he's driving home from work or if she is not there. I collected my DS's from him yesterday and text to see if he was at the meeting place, but she responded from her phone, he also asked me to text her when arranging collection this weekend, my response was, 'Why would I do that when I can text you?'. Apparently she has no relationship with her ex and therefore doesn't like ours. She has also asked him to start making separate appointments for parents evenings etc. It's really, really frustrating and I'm tempted to tell him to grow a pair.... My partner would never dream of acting like this and he also has two DS's with his ex. I just don't get why she feels the need to take over?? he has admitted she hates the fact we have any history and is jealous but FGS sake we're all mid 40's can't we all just grow up a bit!

dolkapots Mon 29-Feb-16 11:25:47

It seems like the new DP wants to play happy families and you are back history that she wants to sweep under the carpet. It is really sad if he lets her continue like this and will undoubtedly affect his relationship with his dc. This is what happened with my DF. It got to the stage that I couldn't phone his house and he had to hide photos of my DC in his car. Ultimately it was his call.

I would email him (if you don't normally see him face to face) and say that you aren't sure what is wrong as his DP now replies to your texts etc. Say that you are concerned about him. Do watch out for the joint email address though!

RudeElf Mon 29-Feb-16 11:29:11

Someone who isnt their parent wants to be in charge of arranging the parents' contact for your children?

That would be a big fat fuck right off from me!

How dare she?

Ignore her. Do not respond when she contacts you. Engage only with your children's father. She'll get the message eventually but only if you make your message clear by completely ignoring her. Do not entertain it at all.

Cadburyhome Mon 29-Feb-16 11:30:02

I'd like to start by saying a big well done on having a positive relationship with your ex up until now.

While it's tempting to tell him to grow a pair, it's unlikely to make a meaningful difference. Right now his dp is feeling threatened and defensive. Have you ever met her ? I'm assuming now they live together your dc will be spending time with her? While you want her to keep her opinions to herself, she is now significant person in your xh life and he will be acting accordingly and taking her feelings into account.

Could you suggest to your xh next time there is an opportunity for you all to meet socially (e.g a kids sports game) she comes along too. It doesn't have to be anything formal where you all sit round a table. More an opportunity for his dp to see you to together and hopefully reassure her that's there no reason to be jealous. And consequently backs off and things go back to how they were.

IME these situations aren't likely to get better, by ignoring her or expecting your xh to "sort" it out.

VimFuego101 Mon 29-Feb-16 11:32:38

Bonkers. I would just continue to text him/ contact him as you have been doing.

ivykaty44 Mon 29-Feb-16 11:33:50

I would email and just state that,

You will not be dealing and corresponding with another person who is not the parent if the dc as it is not appropriate to be discussing or sorting your dc with a third party.

NNalreadyinuse Mon 29-Feb-16 11:37:46

I wouldn't indulge this sort of crazy behaviour at all. I would only make access arrangements for my children with their other parent. Those arrangements are not the new gf's business and the sooner she learns that, the better.

MeridianB Mon 29-Feb-16 12:03:04

She sounds very insecure (and yet, controlling!) and he sounds like he is feebly trying to keep the peace at home by letting this nonsense persist.

As a SM, I cannot imagine a world where this would happen. My reaction when i read your post was the same as RudeElf's. Ignore her and keep comms with your ex.

If your ex now lives with four other children then there is even more reason for his sons (and comms with you about them) should be a high priority.

badgerread Mon 29-Feb-16 12:17:55

Thank you for your responses. We have met before, briefly, just to say hello and goodbye really. It got worse a week ago as they unilaterally decided to get our 11 year old son an iPhone 6 (when I am only 4 months in to a 24 month contract with Tesco), so they made a decision which affects me financially and didn't bother to discuss it with me first. The reason for this is that they, 'want to treat all the children equally', as her children all have iPhone 6's apparently. They also gave our 6 year old one of her children's old iPod Touch's (he's SIX FGS, does he really need one?!) which I wasn't happy about.... so it has gone down hill a little since then....

NNalreadyinuse Mon 29-Feb-16 12:26:01

That is the sort of decision that your ex needs to discuss with you. Refuse to pay the bill and insist the phone is kept at his house. Buying an iphone 6 for an 11 year old is a joint parental decision and it's not on for him and his new gf to make it on your behalf. Your kids are not her kids.

lunar1 Mon 29-Feb-16 13:12:17

Are they expecting you to pay the bill!!

badgerread Mon 29-Feb-16 13:19:11

No they're not. They've got a new contract for him which they're paying, but I got him a contract in September when he started secondary school which I am still liable for.

Bluelilies Mon 29-Feb-16 14:34:49

I think she sounds out of order. Could you start communicating more by email - even to his work email address maybe, so that you can keep up direct communication that his GF won't be involved in? And if you find there are times that he's good to talk - eg whilst driving, then make the most of these - or ask him to call you at a time that suits, so he can pick a time when he's free to talk.

Is there a good practical reason why the GF needs to be involved in handovers? Is she the one who's able to do the driving or something? My DH has asked his ex to copy me into emails about practicalities as in practice it is usually me who needs to know when they're with us as I'll be shopping/cooking. But he doesn't expect to write himself out of the communication - just asked that she includes me when she emails. Parents evenings are really none of her business, and you'd think with 4 of her own she'd be busy enough already and happy to stay out of that aspect of parenting. I would imagine she's jelous not just of your past but also of your current co-operative relationship, which she doesn't have with her own ex.

That's really annoying about the phone - we have a blended family and often have complaints about the DSC having iphones whilst mine have cheap androids, but have always managed to keep to the line of phones being something that their primary carer is responsible for and not something we can make fair between them all, any more than we can with their school friends.

I'd see if you can cancel your contract with Tesco - maybe if you return the phone? Annoying to be paying for something that's no longer needed. But don't insist the iphone stays at his dad's - that's not fair on an 11 year old who'll be excited about a new phone and likely to get quite upset at you if you do that. Just explain that you've spent a lot of money on the first phone that now isn't available for other things DS might want so you're upset that his dad didn't speak to you first about it.

ivykaty44 Mon 29-Feb-16 14:45:26

The iPhone business is undermining your presents and choices, did you discuss the phone in September with your ex?

I would have a polite word that it's such a shame the other contract will be wasted and you would rather parent together over things like this than waste money and cause upset.

MeridianB Mon 29-Feb-16 15:06:12

Have they insured it, OP?

DontCareHowIWantItNow Mon 29-Feb-16 15:10:22

The iPhone business is undermining your presents and choices, did you discuss the phone in September with your ex?

Did you discuss your choice with your ex?

badgerread Mon 29-Feb-16 15:28:00

Thanks again for your responses.

I have decided to just email him with regards to arrangements etc from now on.

About the iPhone 6. I discussed the phone in September with my ex yes, it's a Nokia Lumia on a cheap contract. I didn't want him having anything expensive as 1) he's 11 and 2) it's expensive. I organised the contract and was paying for it. What has annoyed me is that he's bypassed me without discussion, got another contract, leaving me to carry on paying for the original one. I could get out of it, but it's £150. I wouldn't take the iPhone from him as, like you say Blue, he would be devastated.

I'm just upset and frustrated that it has come to this and he can't seem to see it. I don't interfere in my DP's arrangements with his ex. Just because exH is now an active parent in her children's lives because they don't see their Dad, doesn't mean she has to try and take over mine....

NNalreadyinuse Mon 29-Feb-16 16:05:14

I think you need to catch you ex alone, maybe at work and have proper words about boundaries and what is an appropriate level of involvement from his new gf.

Bluelilies Mon 29-Feb-16 16:38:05

On a positive note, I had quite a few problems with my ex's DW at first, and it did get better after a while. Not that she wanted any involvement in parenting at all, but that she resented me phoning my ex, setting foot in their house, or asking for any variations on our usual routine. I got quite upset with my ex on one ocassion when he was asking for every extra hour he ever had them to be clocked and "swapped" for another hour, something I knew full well he didn't want and he admitted was his DW's request. It has got better over time. My ex, to his credit, does seem to have put his foot down with some of her unreasonableness, has stuck to having the DC similar amounts of time as he always did. I think if you've had a good relationship before you can hopefully build on that to get things amicable again.

Clear boundaries between things that are "house rules" - where you leave him and his DW to it and try not to get involved, and "parenting decisions" - where you and your ex make the decisions and new partners are consulted privately but don't get overly involved, helps a lot I find.

House rules = bedtimes, routines, food, computer rules, communication, etc

Parenting = parents evenings, choosing schools/subjects, ear piercing, mobile phones, pocket money, etc - ie things that can't be done separately by two separate households.

Our kids do complain when they don't get the same pocket money or mobile phones as their step siblings. But they do also understand the distinction we make.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Mon 29-Feb-16 19:03:09

I can see both sides. It does sound over the top of his GF, but then again, why does it matter that it is GF you are making arrangements with? As long as the handovers are fine, with little animosity, as long as the balance between time at your households is OK, why should it bother you to text her or receive her texts about it?

Separate parents evenings are a bit much though.

The iPhone- there is as much good in this as bad. She obviously wants to treat your child the same and be a unit, that's a good thing surely? Some of those decisions are going to be theirs, not yours, and an iPhone, although not your choice, isn't the worst thing and they are paying for it. It doesn't affect you financially, you can continue to encourage your son to use the one you have. I had exact same, Ex bought our son an iPhone recently - but it not have been my choice at all, he never asked me. Already have a cheaper phone for him! So I do get it.

So all in all, yeah she's over the top, but isn't it better that they she is asking for good boundaries, she is fully including your son in their unit. I'd be far more worried if your son was being sidelined against her four kids.

Wdigin2this Mon 29-Feb-16 19:39:56

I can also see both sides, she's insecure, and from a DSM's point of view, she wants to know when other children are going to be in her home, if only from a catering angle. However, your EH cannot actually expect you to accept this new scenario....can he?

I think I would return her next text/email/call, with a ver polite sentence along the lines of, 'Thank you for your concerns about my DC, but I would prefer to make all arrangements directly with their father, I will not be responding to any contact from you concerning our children, but I will ensure their DF is well aware of times dates etc, so that he can inform you accordingly!'

lunar1 Mon 29-Feb-16 19:57:58

The op wants to make arrangements with the person she chose to have a child with, it has been working well for years and should continue. That's why it matters who she communicates with.

MeridianB Mon 29-Feb-16 20:07:45

I'm really surprised to read that this wouldn't bother some mums. Everyone is different, I guess.

I can completely understand why it can matter a great deal to be talking to a virtual stranger about your children every week because their father has opted out of communication for no good reason.

It's not just about pick up logistics. My DH often gets or gives other updates on his DD in these messages, such as hoW she has been, any issues at school, any good news etc etc. I'm sure that's the same for lots of separated parents. It's a dialogue about their children, rather than a courier service.

If the dad only takes calls from the OP when his GF is not around then it's a pretty unhealthy situation.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Mon 29-Feb-16 20:14:07

It's annoying, I get that. But what actual harm is being done here? Your Ex obviously wants to go along with this. The kids are still being cared for by both parents. No one seems to be slagging off the other parent. The children themselves, aren't they benefiting from a dad who is happy, stable, and a clear sense that they are welcome into a new family?

This is just the first few months. Why don't you give it time? Really there is no reason for it to be your Ex who communicates practicalities, as long as they function and go smoothly.

Give his new relationship a chance to establish. And then after a while see what you really miss that you think is important to your kids parenting. Is it occasional chats about them? Is it occasional jointly going to parents evening etc? Prioritise those and ask your DP directly about continuing these things.

lookluv Mon 29-Feb-16 21:44:30

Sorry Bananas - I disagree completely in this.

OP had a well established pattern of communication over 6.5 yrs with the father of their children. Why should she or he have to change, which to be honest sounded pretty bloody perfect in the scheme of separated parents.

GF has been around this relationship for 2.5 yrs - this is nothing new. How long should the OP give this relationship - another 5-6 yrs!!!!!

On this forum it is all about the fathers communicating with the mothers and taking responsibility - they were doing this pretty god damn well until insecure madam wants to take control.

Sorry - this needs nipping in the bud right now. Parents evening , her arranging contact, this is none of her business. This is about the GF controlling the relationship the father has with his kids and his EX - she needs to butt out.

The phone has nothing to do with being equal to her kids, the parents of the child discussed the issue of a phone and made a decision, she has interfered.

OP - I get your frustration, my EX can now only speak to his DCS on the phone on the way to or from work, he will only skype when she is out and on occasions will lock himself in the toilet to have a conversation with them if she is around. YOu do not want this - your joint DCS have the right to a relationship with their father that is not being dictated by some insecure woman.

Please sort this out - my DCS have not had an ON for 9 months now, did not spend Xmas with their Dad ( his turn- not that I was upset on that one!) can not phone him up when ever they want and just chat - it goes to answer phone and he then phones back whilst out for a walk - it is pathetic.

Sorry there is no leeway on this - she needs to be taken out of the equation of communication. It is insidious and nasty.

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