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to say no to kids meeting ex's new girlfriend?

(67 Posts)
smokinaces Wed 18-Aug-10 11:28:17

Ex and I split up last July. I am very glad we are not together - honestly, having spent the last 12 months on my own I have gone back to being the person I am happy with, not one who has to reform to fit him.

We have always said that new partners will be introduced to the children very slowly (i.e. when they are definately serious after 6 months or so) and that co-inhabiting is a step not to be taken lightly.

However he is now trying to change the rules. He has been wiht his girlfriend a couple of months, is in the throws of "young love" and wants her to be involved in everything he does with the kids.

I have said no for the minute, but tried to be diplomatic. Children are 4 & 2, and both going through change as it is (DS1 starts school in 2 weeks, DS2 will up nursery hours as my work pattern changes) Both are going through difficult developmental stages, and I am trying to cope with all of this already.

I have said I dont want her being introduced to them until DS1 has started school and is settled. I have also said that I want to be there the first few times they meet (I know her from old anyway, basically it was between me and her 7 years ago) as DS1 is very protective of me and asks a lot of questions.

I havent said no outright, just that I think we should hang fire - the relationship is very new, the children are not very good with big change, and with me being their primary carer I want to ensure their best interests (i.e. 1 on 1 contact with their father, no flitting girlfriends) are met

I've said I want to sit down and discuss it all when DS1 starts school (we're going together to take him and will have 2 hours alone till we need to pick him up) but I sense even though ex has agreed he is unhappy at having to wait.

AIBU to say hold fire? I know its all new and exciting for him, but I am pretty annoyed that he is yet again thinking of himself first and the kids last. He's moaning he doesnt get enough time with his girlfriend so wants to spend time with all of them - when he's unemployed and spends all day and 6 nights a week with her!!

I am so trying to be diplomatic here, but all he seems to have in his head is that I am putting barriers there because I am jealous and want him back, which is definately not true.

miracled Wed 18-Aug-10 11:41:14

Sod diplomacy, do what you feel is right! If they are really serious she has got loads of time to meet them. The children are very young and need to feel secure. He is being an arse.

shimmerysilverglitter Wed 18-Aug-10 11:41:17

I totally see where you are coming from but I suspect you will be flamed. At the end of the day you cannot control his relationship with your dc (unfortunately, where fuckwits are involved!). He is their Dad too, you also to be fair don't have any rights in asking to meet her either, though I totally understand why you want to, I would to. When my kids are spending time with someone and being looked after by them I would expect to have some say in it but it doesn't work like that does it, especially her on MN.

Am experiencing something similar. Ex told me that his family have been asking him when he is going to meet someone new, to be fair to him he said it was difficult to do that with two kids and they said that he and his "new" girlfriend whoever she may be would have loads of fun doing stuff with MY kids. It really bugged me but I accept that it probably is going to happen one day.

At the end of the day you can make you feelings know but cannot insist that he follows your rules. It is so hard, the break ups are rubbish enough then there is all this kind of thing to worry about too.

lifeas3plus1 Wed 18-Aug-10 11:46:37

YANBU. I actually think 6 months is a good time frame.

I'm a step mum and fully expected not to be introduced to my dss for at least 6 months. This also gave dp time to (when he actually got to see him) chat to his son and explain about me and get him used to the idea that I was a permanant fixture in their lives now.

Your children are still very young and you need to do what you think is right.

SirBoobAlot Wed 18-Aug-10 11:51:06

YANBU at all - you've got to do what is best for them, they will still be adjusting to a big change in their lives, and involving another person this early just makes it too complicated, especially with DS1 starting school soon.

Stick to your guns.

Mahraih Wed 18-Aug-10 11:53:24

YANBU.

2 months of a relationship is a) not what you agreed and b) is not a lasting, serious relationship.

It sounds like he's just plunging in while you're thinking about what DCs need emotionally.

BonniePrinceBilly Wed 18-Aug-10 11:58:37

Not your call though, you have no legal standing in this matter, and no way of controlling his actions. You can't make him do it the way you want.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 18-Aug-10 12:09:04

I appreciate why now isn't a great time, and agree with you wrt starting school and so on. I'd also agree that 6 months is a good timeframe.

However your ex's new girlfriend isn't someone he's just met - I take it he's known her for years, too. In which case isn't it reasonable to consider shortening the 6 month limt?

WkdSM Wed 18-Aug-10 12:16:20

As a stepmum, I had to wait 6 months to meet the children (we were told at the time that mother had right to make us wait 6 months but this is 13 years ago).
Did not really bother me apart from not being able to see DP at weekends and holidays when he had the kids (I used to arrange to go out with the girls and many was the time he would call me when he had the kids to say goodnight and I was in a bar / club having a whale of a time).
When I did meet the kids we did it slowly, a couple of hours doing something together and then I would go home.
I think their mum did it partially to be awkward (don't ask - huge history and still going on after all this time - you don't want to know what surprise she had for us on our 10th wedding anniversary) but it actually worked really well. Our relationship was far more solid as we had the time together to really get to know each other, and the kids were used to idea Daddy had a friend he saw when they were not there.
However, it would have been a real problem if we had been living together and I had to finf somewhere else to go when the kids stayed. The first time my DP told her I would be staying over (it was his New Year visit and he did not want me driving home alone on New Years Eve) we had been going out 9 months and I had been seeing the kids for 3 - she locked kids in her house and refused to let him have them until he said I wuold not stay over. Please don't at any point use the kids like that (I not saying you would) - they were so upset and I could hear them screaming for him from inside the house when he phoned me to ask if I minded if we changed our plans.

So - I can understand why you want to wait, but 6 months is probably long enough. I totally agree that the children should not be introduced to a string of girls.

pigwitch Wed 18-Aug-10 12:19:46

YANBU

fatoftheland Wed 18-Aug-10 12:24:26

"I have also said that I want to be there the first few times they meet"

What would you say if you met someone and your ex wanted to do the above?

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 18-Aug-10 12:27:02

That's a good question, fatof.

I think 6 months and being there is a little OTT.

EMS23 Wed 18-Aug-10 12:27:33

Another stepmum here who does not think you are being unreasonable.

6 months is a perfectly acceptable time to wait and I don't see why you shouldn't meet her. Some people really hate that but I think it's good for the child to see Mum, Dad and new partner all together, getting on well etc..

FWIW, although it's not that relevant, I had to wait nearly 3 years to meet my stepson and I am the only partner his dad ever had.
His mum has introduced him to 4 partners since and it galls me slightly that she didn't follow her own rigid rules but that's a whole other story!

pithyslicker Wed 18-Aug-10 12:28:49

It does set a precedent. Will he be able to vet a new partner if and when you meet someone new?

smokinaces Wed 18-Aug-10 12:29:36

Thanks everyone.

I just really want to get the whole school thing out the way first - DS1 has enough on his plate with getting his head round that IMO.

fatoftheland, I would be fine with that. I want to be able to do things all new partners and children together, so there isnt any animosity, and that we can at least all be civil to each other. I think its important for the children to realise they dont have to take sides or dislike something their dad is with, and that Mummy is happy for them and can be friendly. I have always said I will introduce new partners to ex as well as the children, as we do have a friendship still even after splitting ip.

I will sit down with him in a couple of weeks on DS1s first day of school and work out some bits and pieces. Just logistics - she has a very old unsafe car for instance so I wouldnt be happy for the kids to go in there when they can get buses and trains. Also that the boys often share bed with their dad when they stay over, but I wouldnt be happy with her sleeping in the bed with them IYSWIM? He has agreed to discuss all of this, but agreed with me that doing it in person is easier than over the phone.

It does help that I do know her vaguely from years ago and she is a friends sister - at least I know she is relatively trustworthy.

guiltyandfedup Wed 18-Aug-10 12:30:46

fatoftheland but why wouldnt you want to be there the first few times!!

As a parent your DC's emotional and physical wellbeing are you absolute priority and it may be very reassuraing for these young children to have the presence of their mum when they are introduced to this new and potentially significant person.

Two months is sod all time, not even a 'proper' relationhsip in my book, sorry, and far too early to be involving the kids in the relationship, what they need is consistency and the focus on them 100%.

YADNBU!!

Ladyanonymous Wed 18-Aug-10 12:31:10

I have been in your situation twice and am also in a relationship with a man who has three children of his own.

A few years ago would have agreed with you but to be honest I have learnt the hard way that its not really up to your what your ex does when he is with his kids unless you have concerns for their safety.

Whether he waits 6 months or 6 years it will be horrible for you when he does introduce her - but you'll get used to it and get over it and you'll move on. If he introduces a whole string of women its not great but there isn't a lot you can do about that either - you cannot have any control over him - thats why he is an ex.

If the relationship doesn't last and he intoduces her now your kids really aren't going to put any major significance on her presence or be that bothered - kids are really realy resiliant - think of all the people who come and go in and out of our kids lives? As long as she is nice to them and they have a fun time when they are with their dad that is the most important thing.

I think this is more about you and your feelings (understandably) than about the kids and they are the only people who matter in this now.

smokinaces Wed 18-Aug-10 12:31:37

I am not saying I want to be there to "vet her" - just to help the DSs with meeting someone new, and to help them adjust and see it is ok to like this new person in their dads life.

DS1 starts school in 2 weeks, so it will be about 3-4 weeks time they meet her, so only 3m that they have been together so I am realising I need to be a little more flexible.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 18-Aug-10 12:36:50

"fatoftheland but why wouldnt you want to be there the first few times!!"

Well firstly, the OP already knows her ex's new girlfriend.

Also I think it sends a message that the dc's father cannot be trusted.

smokin, would it actually help the dcs adjust, or would any awkwardness make what could be a fairly relaxed afternoon less enjoyable for them?

fatoftheland Wed 18-Aug-10 12:36:59

I think you are trying to control it too much op by putting a time limit on it and wanting to meet her. As a single parent myself I can understand you not wanting different women in and out of your children's lives.
But, my ex's girlfriends are none of my business.
I just have to trust that he is keeping my children safe and the people he introduces to their lives are decent.

VinegarTits Wed 18-Aug-10 12:41:46

i agree with Ladyanon, i think this is more about your feelings not your dc's, children are very adaptable and will probably just get on with it

you cannot control who he introduces to your dc and you annot insit on being there when they meet, this is way ott imo and very controlling

my ex didnt tell me when he introduced his new gf to our ds, it did not bother me one jot as i an over him and i also trust his judgement, he is ds father and has every right to introduce him to new people, as do i.

smokinaces Wed 18-Aug-10 12:44:57

Jenai, DS2 wouldnt be bothered about meeting someone new. But DS1 adjusts to people and situations very differently, and Ex does seem to realise this. He has agreed that the first couple of times she meets them that it is a joint thing and slowly at first - e.g. all going for lunch, going to the park etc. Ex and I do joint things with the kids every 4-6 weeks anyway, as its important for us to have the kids seeing us as friends, so it will just be her coming into these situations I guess. My main thing is really holding off until DS1 starts school, as he is already disliking the change this brings.

fatoftheland, I guess I am trying to control things, simply because if my children have anxieties and questions in the 6 days they are with me a week I want to be able to answer them truthfully.

YANBU not to want them to meet her just yet, and YANBU to want to be there (I get what you mean here -- it will be good for your children to see that Mummy is absolutely fine about Daddy's new gf). But you are lucky that your ex is paying attention to what you want, because he doesn't have to. So I wouldn't push for the (arbitrary, abstract, decided when no one was actually in the situation) 6 months but rather stick to your "let DS1 start school and settle in" suggestion, which is easily defensible as being in the children's best interests.

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Wed 18-Aug-10 12:53:17

OK, smokin. That does make sense. Lunch would be a bit horrible though, wouldn't it? I have visions of awkward silences. The park would take some pressure off, and make it less of a big deal.

I know it is a big deal, but it seems more natural if everyone can be relaxed.

I haven't been in your situation before though. Although actually thinking back, I did meet a bf's dds once and that was in the park. I wasn't "daddy's new special friend" or anything like that though - I just happened to be there. Although again thinking about it I didn't go out with him for long at all - I was never his special anything really grin

zippy79 Wed 18-Aug-10 12:55:45

I think that YABU- If it is the case that your ex has a lot of contact with the children then it stands to reason that the children are going to spend time with him and the new GF.

Although the relationship is new, you can't say that you have to reach the six month stage before it is considered to be a serious relationship. I have been with my husband for 12 years and we considered ourselves to be in a serious relationship within a month of seeing each other

I think that maybe you should be thankful that your ex and the new partner are keen to play a large part in the childrens lives. Its not as if he is ditching his time with the children to see her

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