boyfriends ex wont let his children visit

(44 Posts)
Sammieh86 Wed 27-Mar-13 13:30:01

Hi all

just need a little advice really, ex pays child maintenance, and sees his kids as much as he possibly can, supports both his ex and there children in whatever way possible - amazing daddy!!

the ex is aware that we are together and also that we are in talks of moving in together - been in a relationship since august - but she will not even let the children come for tea with us, has said it will never happen

i have made it clear to my partner that they are more than welcome at any time she may need the support or when he wants them to visit but she is making this pretty impossible as she hates the idea of us being in a relationship

i dont push it with him, as i have been throught this myself and feel that it is something that him and his partner are to sit and talk through -- but i do feel that if he is serious about us and our relationship that this has to be sorted soon so that there is no confusion

any advice greatly appreciated

thankyou xxx

None of your business. Leave it to him and his ex to sort out. That's the short answer

glasscompletelybroken Wed 27-Mar-13 13:48:39

It is for your DP & his ex to sort out but it is your business because you can't realistically have a live-in relationship with someone with children under those circumstances. His ex is trying to control things and she has no right.

It is in the best interests of the kids to see their parents in happy relationships so that they have good role models for this later in life - you should ask him what kind of message it sends to the kids that their mummy won't let them come over.

If he has parental responsibility then she cannot dictate what happens during times that the children are with him. In an ideal world he would get tough with her and say that if she won't agree to the kids coming over then he will go to court for proper arrangements to be set in place.

In reality he will probably do anything to avoid rocking the boat but if your relationship is to have a future and you are to live together then you are right - this needs to be sorted now. If he always gives in to her demands you are in for a very rough ride.

Where does he see the kids now?

bluebell8782 Wed 27-Mar-13 13:50:30

Well..after that very unhelpful answer...Freddie...
It is your business if your relatonship is long term - how long have you been going out togther?

Sammieh86 Wed 27-Mar-13 13:56:54

we have been together since august last year...and she has tried all that she can to split us up in this time, when he sees the children now he has to have them at his moms sad

he plucked up the courage to ask if they could come just for tea to get used to the idea of 'daddys new home' and there was all hell break loose, she told him he couldnt have/see the children until he apologised to her - he only asked?

i told him to leave it another month or so and to ask again, and he said that if this is still the case then the only answer is through court sad we really want to resolve this if we can without having to go down that line but as its looking at the minute it is looking that that may be the only way

just really not sure which route to take, i want to support him but not stick my nose in? such a toughie sad

thanks for all replies xx

pinkbear82 Wed 27-Mar-13 14:04:11

I have been in your shoes... as hard as it is all you can do is support dp and hope his ex gets over herself quickly.

it's totally a control issue. once she she's it actually makes no.difference to your relationship she'll stop.

don't expect it to ever be an easy time. in my experience if it's not one thing it'll be something else!

SoupDreggon Wed 27-Mar-13 14:06:01

Why is he asking his ex?

Sammieh86 Wed 27-Mar-13 14:08:15

Thats how it seems to be he just cant do anything right...he asks i think just out of respect for her, and because i think he knows the trouble it would cause if he didnt

just horrible because i cant see any end to it at the minute sad

really hope that this will be sorted and soon, have any of you had to go through court?

Booyhoo Wed 27-Mar-13 14:09:28

is there a back story? what does she want him to apologise for?

i agree that it is or at least will become your business as you will be living with him and his children should be able to see their father in his home so it does need sorting. however, only he can sort it with her and if he is a bit too relaxed about not sorting it i'd wonder if he was someone i'd really want to be with.

Sammieh86 Wed 27-Mar-13 14:16:46

No back story - she wanted him to apologise for asking if they could come for tea - he didnt apologise as done nothing wrong

he has told her that i will meet them and this is going to happen....although this hasnt happened yet?

really confused sad

Booyhoo Wed 27-Mar-13 14:23:37

i think he needs to focus on him having the children on his own for the time being. august isn't that long ago and while it might be thr right time for you and he to live together, it might not be the right time for his dcs to go from meeting you to very quickly being/staying in your house. he needs to focus on the dcs coming to stay with him regularly and gradually building up the time they spend with you. telling his ex that the dcs will be meeting you is just going to get her back up and make it less likely for her to agree to anything. do the dcs stay over with him at his mums? how often?

Booyhoo Wed 27-Mar-13 14:28:44

in your partner's shoes i would be establishing a regular arrangement for teh dcs to visit him/stay over with him at his mums. e.g every saturday/sunday and once that has been established he can then take the dcs to your house for tea instead of his mums. tbh he doesn't really need to ask permission to take teh dcs somewhere else for tea during his contact time and if she pulls teh plug when he does then down to teh solicitor i would go.

allnewtaketwo Wed 27-Mar-13 14:28:56

"is there a back story?"
Why - because a woman could never be nasty for no reason hmm

Sammieh86 Wed 27-Mar-13 14:30:55

No there is no room at his moms for them to stay, she has 3 children of her own, one with a disability, he sees his children near enough every weekday after work, and on a weekend if they are not elsewhere/otherwise busy...i understand that these things take time, and realise that they wouldnt want to stay necessarily over night straight away....but for them to come for tea for a couple of hours, im not sure im being totally unreasonable? :S am i wrong for being that way? i know he needs time with them alone too as i dont want to be seem as taking daddy away from them, but i would also like just to meet them and say hello? am i being unreasonable? im not trying to play mommy either, i have childrenof my own, and understand that at first it does hurt, but we are now like best of friends my ex-partner and hiis new gfriend...just hope that one day this will be the case for us?xx

Booyhoo Wed 27-Mar-13 14:32:10

oh FGS!

no! i wondered why she was asking him to apologise. maybe there was something he had done before whilst having the dcs that was dangerous or something. entirely possible! i didn't connect the asking for an apology with him just asking to have his dcs for tea because it generally isn't something someone needs to apologise for. is that ok?

Booyhoo Wed 27-Mar-13 14:36:26

it can get that way sammie but it will take time as i'm sure you know. some people take longer than otehrs to accept new partners and it sounds liek she's struggling with it. understandable but not acceptable to keep the DC from their dad because of her feelings about him moving on.

you are not being unreasonable to want to be able to meet them, have tea etc. but to get to that stage he needs to get his ex to agree to let him have the dcs there in the first place. if he is seeing them every evening couldn't he just bring them to your house one evening and then the first meeting is over and done with and there is nothing she can do to change it? it will have already happened.

allnewtaketwo Wed 27-Mar-13 14:39:52

No of course it isn't something someone needs to apologise for - but of course it's more likely it's because he did something dangerous with them than a case of her being bitter and nasty.............

OP it's quite a journey when the ex is hell-bent on being nasty at the expense of the children, and the nrp is scared of rocking the boat. I agree with whoever said he shouldn't be "asking" her whether the children can go anywhere when in his care. He is an equal parent, she doesn't "own" them and therefore it shouldn't be a matter of "asking". In the short time one view to take may be that it's better to keep her on-side, etc etc., but in my experience these occasions set the scene for what it's going to be like in the future. If she's pandered to it's no way for you both to go forward in a serious relationship.

Sammieh86 Wed 27-Mar-13 14:42:32

i really wish it was that simple but then she would most definately stop him from seeing them, she stopped his mother from seeing them as she once picked my partner up from my house and the child was in the car, it came out in conversation 'mommy i picked daddy up today with nanny from his friends house'...but then as soon as she needs them its a different story.....i think some set rules need to be put into place,for the childrens best interests not my partners or his ex even? but how do i put this across without interefering? :S thankyou so much for this feedback just feels good to be able to speak about it all xx

allnewtaketwo Wed 27-Mar-13 14:44:17

"i really wish it was that simple but then she would most definately stop him from seeing them"

Well if it's a choice between putting up with un-reasonable behaviour (potentially indefinitely) or going to court then he should do the latter. It doesn't have to cost a lot if he self-represents.

dignifiedsilence Wed 27-Mar-13 14:49:42

Hi Sammie I've had the same problem you can see my other threads on here. With respect Booyhoo I think the ex knows that stopping her meeting Sammie will delay their plans and therefore she still has control over her ex and what he does with his partner and IMHO that is probably why she is doing it. Whether 7 months is too soon is up to all involved and if the childrens mother was reasonable they could all talk about it together.
How are the kids supposed to adjust to daddys new partner if they are not allowed contact with her? He has moved on with his life and wants to include his children in it and if he is a reasonable sort of guy his ex should let him get on with it. I'm sorry but why should she decide when and who is right for her children to meet? That is an exercise in parental responsibility when daddy has his time with them after all he doesn't monitor his ex to see who is around their children when he doesn't have them.
It sounds to me like she is jealous whether its because he's moved on and she hasn't or whether she still has feelings for him. Either way she is using those kids as a weapon for her own immature reasons. Maybe he should suggest mediation or email a plan of how, when, where he will introduce you and what time scale. If he sets a timescale and schedule of introduction then mediation could be an answer. My OH ex was only putting off the inevitable by making excuses in mediation by saying the child wasn't ready (even though I'd already had regular access with her permission) but we now have her every weekend as OH was prepared to get a contact order.
My relationship is brilliant apart from this 1 issue but it does make you question if its all worth it.
You can inbox me if you want to talk privately xx

Booyhoo Wed 27-Mar-13 14:50:00

"No of course it isn't something someone needs to apologise for - but of course it's more likely it's because he did something dangerous with them than a case of her being bitter and nasty............."

if she is asking him to apologise then clearly it is because she beleives he has done something worth apologising for. forgive me for thinking that might be something wrong as opposed to the very normal thing of a parent asking to have their DC for tea! lose the chip.

if someone asks me to apologise for something i dont automatically assume they are bitter and nasty, i ask them what i have to apologise for.

He has to take it to court then and force her to comply with the court order.

But it IS up to him.

I wouldn't expect to meet my partner's kids 6 months in - isn't the perceived MN wisdom that a year is about right? I certainly wouldn't be living with someone six months in or thinking about it, and especially not if my kids were involved in any way.

I'm sorry if I seem blunt, I don't mean it that way, I just don't really do flowery shit.

allnewtaketwo Wed 27-Mar-13 16:01:51

Booyhoo - you clearly have had less exposure to bitter nasty exes with-holding access than I have. When I hear about an ex ranting about not "letting" her children do x, y or z and asking for random apologies for nothing, I don't assume some other person must be to blame. I also tend to lean on trusting the OP to have accurately described the situation rather than assuming she has left out some vital piece of information about what she/her partner did wrong to cause the situation.

Booyhoo Wed 27-Mar-13 16:17:32

allnew you have read far more into my comment than was ever there.

mumandboys123 Wed 27-Mar-13 16:47:22

the relationship is still a relatively new one. It could well be the case that mum is unhappy with the children getting 'involved' with a girlfriend who may not be permanently on the scene.

Of course, that doesn't mean that mum has the final say on things but it would be worth your partner trying to discuss the issue with her and see what her fears are (if any) so that she can be reassured. Mediation is always worth attempting before threatening court action. Once you're in court, that's the end of any decent relationship that might develop over time between parents.

KirstyoffEastenders Wed 27-Mar-13 16:58:22

Sammie I feel your pain, I'm in exactly the same situation. She is refusing to let their daughter come to our house or spend any time with me. We've been together since last May and I've met the daughter twice. He's only allowed access at his Mother's house, once a week.

I find it very difficult to not go on about it too much with my partner because it's so frustrating but I'm just trying to be supportive while raging inside. At least the divorce proceedings have started and they have to go to mediation so I really hope she will concede sooner rather than later.

AmberLeaf Wed 27-Mar-13 17:05:46

It is a fairly new relationship as far as introducing children goes though, with regard what the EX has said about not wanting you to meet/spend time with the children, was that said to you? do you speak to her/have you met her? or did it come via your boyfriend?

Booyhoo Wed 27-Mar-13 17:25:25

can i just say that going to court doesn't necessarily mean a good relationship cant develop over time afterwards. yes court is awful and it stirs up alot of bad feeling but after time, if both parties are willing, things can get better and become amicable.

dignifiedsilence Wed 27-Mar-13 17:36:10


If for example the separation of the parents has caused the children undue distress then all ex couples in this type of situation should deal with it in an adult way and discuss it. I am the resident parent for my daughter and probably know more about her and how she ticks than her dad does. That however does not give me the right to dictate who is around my child when he has access to her. I trusted him enough to have a baby with him and just because it didn't work out for us it doesn't give me the right to tell him what to do. I have to trust he does the right thing by her.
Now if for example he had a new girlfriend every couple of months or so then I would find that inappropriate and would expect him to meet with me to discuss. As an absolute last resort would I start issuing solicitors letters or involve court action because how is that in any childs best interests?
I'm not saying all but what some people seem to forget is that once people separate they begin to live separate lives and how we do that is up to ourselves. With the exception of the obvious no one has a right to interfere and with hold contact unless it is a case of abuse or instability ie the non resident parent not turning up on a regular basis etc.
I believe personally that someone you have been seeing a few months whom you have made plans for the future with is a stable enough relationship for a child to be part of. Why can't they say that he/she is mummy/daddys friend if its early days? To me its no different than if you take your children to a friends of the opposite sex to pay with their children??
As a generalization SOME women do use these poor kids for their own selfish reasons and that is totally unacceptable. They can say what they like to their solicitors and courts and because they are the resident parent its listened to.

How is that in the childs best interests? Because thats what this is all about.

NotaDisneyMum Wed 27-Mar-13 21:52:00

sammie If your DP is scared of how his ex will punish him if he doesn't 'do as he is told' then nothing will ever change for you.
If you and your DP move in together, his ex will continue to influence every aspect of your life. Neither you or he will be able to enforce house rules, go where you want to go with the DCs, spend time doing activities you wish to - because your DP will constantly be thinking about 'what his ex is going to say'.

Lots of SM live like this - and for many of them, it contributes to the end of their relationship/marriage.
You have a chance to put boundaries in place now, before your life and your DPs become enmeshed.
When I realised how manipulative and downright abusive DPs ex was, I put the brakes on our relationship and made it clear that until he sorted out those issues, I wasn't prepared to move in with him.
When my DP stopped dancing to his ex's tune, she did withhold contact and they did end up in court. He now has a regular contact schedule which his ex has tried to ignore, but after being warned, has not breached.
We moved in together and although it has been anything but plain sailing, the court order has given DP the confidence to do the right thing rather than living in fear of his ex.
I wouldn't choose to share my life with a man who is scared of the actions of another woman but who refuses to address that fear.

riverboat Wed 27-Mar-13 22:50:41

Well I met my DP's DS after 4 months or so I think, and I moved in after about 8 months. It worked out fine, after some teething problems which I think were mostly my internal struggles more than anything else. But then DP's ex didn't have any problem with any of this, and was in fact very welcoming. Maybe it helped a little that she had already met someone else and settled down / had another child with them quite quickly. But she's also just a very nice, reasonable person.

OP, I might think 'fair enough' if the ex had said she wasn't comfortable with you having tea with the DC yet. But the fact that she said it will never happen sets alarm bells ringing. You only have to read a few threads on this board to see how this could end up going in the long term.

How long ago did she and your DP split up? And does she have / has she had a new relationship of her own? Maybe if the answer the the second question is 'no', then once she does meet someone, she will be able to see it more from the other side, of introducing DC's to a new partner and letting that partner into their lives without feeling threatened.

I'm no expert, but I'm not sure that you can start suggesting rules or trying to intervene directly with the ex. Unfortunately I'd say all you can do is make it clear to your DP what terms you can envision going forward with, but if he doesn't then manage to find a middle ground between what you need, what is best for his children, and what his ex is prepared to concede, and/or what the courts are prepared to don't really have any choice but to walk away or continue living a life of uncertainty and frustration.

brdgrl Thu 28-Mar-13 00:51:32

I wouldn't expect to meet my partner's kids 6 months in - isn't the perceived MN wisdom that a year is about right?

Really!!?? A year? I've never heard/read that from a professional counsellor, although I have read in a few places the advice that a divorced or bereaved person wait a year to start dating (a different issue!). I think that most counselors would suggest that the individual circumstances (how did the parents' relationship end; how old are the kids; what have the kids expressed) are more important than a prescribed length of time. What nearly every "expert" says is that it is a good idea not to introduce the new partner to the kids until the relationship is "serious".

Personally, I think a year would be far too late, in many cases (I'm qualifying my statement because as I have just said, individual circumstances will vary!).

The dynamic between a new partner and your children is so important; and you can only know how it is going to go once they've met! If it turns out to be a poor dynamic, and it is clear that the relationship can't proceed, you need to know this before you and your partner have invested a year or more in a dead-end relationship. The kids deserve to meet the person who is, presumably, a major part of your daily life. And vice versa. Not to mention the logistics of dividing one's life into 'kids' and 'partner' over such a long period of time. And what if you are the residential parent?

I met my DH's kids ('officially', I'd bumped into him and his daughter once on the street and been introduced) about 4 months after we started dating. We knew it was serious, we were exclusive, and we were beginning to plan a future together. That point - planning a future together - meant I had to meet his kids. We took things more slowly when it came to my staying at their house, or moving in together, or my beginning to play a 'parenting role' with the kids...but just meeting them? Any longer would have been too long, I think. They were preteens, and needed to meet me.

My DH has his kids full-time. It would have been ridiculous and impossible to sustain a relationship without meeting the kids! And really unfair to them, I think, to be so excluded from their dad's life.

Sammieantha86 Thu 28-Mar-13 07:59:37

Ohh noo she made it very clear i have message on my phone saying that if her child ever mentions my name id better watch my back -- please note i never text back

I have never been happier than i am right now with this man we just clicked and thats all i can say really i wont lose him over this i will be right by his side

I just hope that it is sorted soon, frustrating but just dont see what i can do xx

allnewtaketwo Thu 28-Mar-13 08:19:42

"i have message on my phone saying that if her child ever mentions my name id better watch my back"

Sounds like she's ready to cause you all as many problems as she possibly can. I'm sorry but that's unlikely to change. I think it's a big mistage to try and reason with unreasonable people. I think the options are:
- formalise through mediation/court route and limit the occasions where any contact with her takes place, OR
- run for the hills. This situation will always be somewhat of a nightmare. Option A will only reduce the impact it has on your life, but by no means eliminate it

ladydeedy Thu 28-Mar-13 15:30:14

Gosh there are some weird things being said on here!
First of all, as others have said, the ex does not "own" the child and "allow" things or not.... The idea of waiting a year or waiting till the ex is happy with your DP introducing you to the kids is nonsense. you and DP decide. It is absolutely nothing to do with the ex. She is trying to control things when she should realise she is not in a relationship with your DP anymore!!
DP needs to get regular schedule of seeing kids and should introduce you. Easy to say but please do not fear the ex and her threats. She should not dictate what goes on with your relationship with your DP. He can go to court, and as others have said, that doesnt mean he and ex cant have a better relationship in time.

dignifiedsilence Thu 28-Mar-13 18:23:41

Well said ladydeedy. He should have had regular and consistent contact well before you came along hun. Unfortunately for people like us our DP's have done anything to keep from rocking the boat which ensures utter carnage for us ladies who have dared to enter this mans life and mess on her territory.

NotaDisneyMum Thu 28-Mar-13 18:57:09

dignified that is probably the best way I have ever seen that explained - brilliant!

AmberLeaf Thu 28-Mar-13 20:15:06

OP, I might think 'fair enough' if the ex had said she wasn't comfortable with you having tea with the DC yet. But the fact that she said it will never happen sets alarm bells ringing

Yes, that is very unreasonable.

Her contacting you and making threats is also totally out of order.

How does she have your phone number?

I think Id be very wary of getting involved in a situation like this.

Ultimately though, your boyfriend should have a routine established for contact including overnights.

Does your boyfriend live at his Mums then?

How long is it since they split up?

dignifiedsilence Fri 29-Mar-13 12:22:28

Thanks NADM flowers Its difficult though isn't it? We walk into this with no experience of such a toxic situation and find it driving us round the bend because unlike our DP's they are so desensitized to it, it has become a way of life for them and they cannot see the long term damage. Best thing to do is to encourage your partner to take ALL the emotion out of it and look at it practically. That is 1 way of ensuring his main priority is his children and not pleasing someone who clearly doesn't have their childrens best interests at heart

Xalla Tue 02-Apr-13 07:07:15

Sammy I agree with the others before me who have said your DP needs to start initiate the mediation / court process asap to get a regular pattern of (staying) contact established at his own home. It is true that your DP does not need to ask his ex's permission for his children to meet you; he is their parent in the same way she is; presumably they both have PR hence they have the same responsibilities to their children. You'd be amazed how much unreasonable behaviour can dissipate with the threat of court action looming.

I've been in your shoes; 7 years down the line my DH has 50/50 contact with his DD. It's not all plain sailing but we're no longer controlled by my DH's ex; my DH allowed her to call the shots for a while when contact was first getting established but as soon as it was, he stopped pandering to her unreasonable demands, called her bluff when she played games, refused to enter into text wars etc. It worked and she doesn't try anymore.

Court-ordered contact CAN improve things in my experience. Obviously it's not ideal and at the time it's hideous but in the long-term, it was an important step in my DH and his ex calling a truce.

wannaBe Tue 02-Apr-13 07:33:42

I don't get this notion that the mother somehow has the right to dictate when and where the children are allowed to meet a new partner. If a rp moved a new bf in every five minutes the nrp would have no say in that but somehow because it's the mother this should be viewed differently? bollocks. I get that if you start seeing someone then the preferred course of action would be to advise the ex before introoducing them to the kids, but it is in fact not her business if you introduce ten women a month to the kids. She might not approve but as long as an ex isn't introducing criminals to his/her kids there's nothing they can do, and they have no right to withhold access just because they don't like it.

Op I would get your dp to go to court and establish a regular patern for
access with overnights included.

As for waiting a year to introduce the kids - that is ridiculous. A relationship can be well established within a year, if it has no future because of issues with the kids better to discover that sooner rather than later. Of course that doesn't mean you start staying overnight straight away or moving the new partner in but simply introducing kids it is completely ridiculous to suggest you wait at least a year.

VBisme Tue 02-Apr-13 07:33:45

Please go carefully on this, notadisney is absolutely right, if he won't stand up to his ex you will get more frustrated at the situation.

I'm 5 years in, and it's hard. It's only manageable because DH and I are a team (most of the time), and agree what we will and won't accept together.

He needs to suggest mediation in writing (courts look for an attempt at solving disputes outside court), when this is rejected, go to court and self represent.

dignifiedsilence Tue 02-Apr-13 09:36:01

Wannabe you are so right...well said. Courts are heavily weighted on the mothers say so and I'm not saying ALL but lots of public money has been spent on women who just won't let go of the ex. I'd be ashamed if it were me. After legal aid has been scrapped for these matters hopefully this will ensure these silly women give up and truly concentrate on what matters. Its just a shame that funding isn't available for people with genuine concerns. Anyway unless they are prepared to dig deep and pay to make our lives a misery then I'm hoping we can live in peace now.
When all is said and done its the child that suffers and in years to come she will see the pure venom written about me and her dad through solicitors letters. Wonder how she will explain that?

Jan45 Thu 04-Apr-13 13:05:55

You've moved in together after 6 months??? If that's right, it seems pretty quick so don't expect the ex to react that quick in wanting her kids there with you two together. As has been said, welcome to the world of blended families, you're already feeling the stress of it, I hope you're ready for the long haul as it prob won't get that much easier! Sorry, just being honest, leave it up to them both, the problem with most of us women is we like to get involved, to feel some control over the situation, in your case, forget it, keep out of it, leave them to it but remember you'll have to listen to your OH constantly moan about her, there's always two sides to every story too.

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