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Co parent has new GF - help.

(16 Posts)
learnincurve Thu 11-Aug-11 00:45:48

Ok I'll try to keep this as succinct as possible. Sooo glad I found this forum, really hope it's busy.

My daughter just turned five, and her dad and I have been separated for four years. We have always had 50 50 custody, arranged mutually, nothing legal.

I left him, and for a long time he was lost. because we have 50 50 parenting, we obviously communicate a lot and always have done. We haven't always got on, and her dad bullied me for, well, since I left him. Four months ago he got a GF, his first serious one since we split. A month later he announced they were moving in together, and a month after that they did.

Now, this woman (I hope!) is the best thing to happen to me since my daughter was born. However, being that we co-paent 50/50, my daughter's dad and I have a very different relationship to the one she has with her son's dad, who has him overnight on a friday.

She basically doesn't want DD's father and I communicating. She thinks it's unneccessary, but my parenting ethos is that it's bloody essential. She seems to be involved in some kind of power struggle with me that I really don't want.

I'm on here tonight because I rang DD's dad to tell him there was a riot 20ft from my house. She's angry, and says that I shouldn't 'expect him to be there' at the drop of a hat (?) I was imply informing him, in my book that's what co parents do. She went off on one about me asking him to move a chair (I got it wedged on the stairs and asked him to move it when he came to pick DD last week) and asking him when he's due a mobile phone upgrade (he gives me his old mobiles when he upgrades - or did).

I suppose in an effort to be succint there are two mains points here

1) I cannot effectively coparent 50 50 with him if she thinks that him having a cup of tea here when he drops off/picks up equates to 'playing happy families'

2) I have lived the last four years being told how worthless and awful and substandard and whorish and stupid and evil and pathetic and childish I am. Four months ago, when I suggested introducing my BF (who I've been with a year) to DD, he said a) I had to have BF CRB checked and b) I was never to introduce 'any of my men' to DD anyway. This on it's own is bad enough, but a month later he moved in with a woman I hadn't met. So the pendulum, you could say, has swung from one extreme to the other, very, very quickly.

I'm ready to accept that he no longer wants the coparenting relationship we always had before. I really, REALLY do not want a power struggle with this woman, who I have tried SO HARD to like.

I prob have left out huge chunks or waffled. I just really, really need some advice because my instincts are screaming and this si too big to c**k up. I need as many perspectives as possible and any advice you can offer. Thank you.

GypsyMoth Thu 11-Aug-11 00:51:17

Get on with your life and ignore her. Up to your ex what he dies. Don't lose sleep over things you can't change

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Thu 11-Aug-11 00:56:03

What exactly do you mean by 50/50 co-parenting and 50/50 custody?

Does your dd stay half the week including overnights with her df? Does he pay maintenance directly to you or through the CSA?

Are you in direct communication with your ex twunt's new love interest, or are you receiving information about what she thinks/wants from your ex?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Aug-11 00:56:21

I think you need to break away from this man and the gf is right. 50/50 parenting means being civil, polite and cooperative... not living in each other's pockets and certainly not taking four years of shit. How was he 'lost' exactly? If you're still allowing him to bully you despite the split, if you think a bully is a friend worth having cups of tea with, and you're still turning to him as some kind of ... I don't know... big brother??... when you need a man about, then something is very confused. I've no idea what your child makes of it.

I don't think the gf is creating a power struggle - I think she's doing you a favour.

FreudianSlipper Thu 11-Aug-11 00:58:08

oh dear she sounds insecure but then so does your ex and along with beign a bully they are likely to mess up their own relationship

all i can suggest is that you talk to him, say you do not feel there needs to be changes made and that he needs to assure her that you are not a threat

it is our of your hands but you must try to step away from him having such control over your life. you can make the decision when it is right for your dd to meet you partner but i do feel it is good to inform him, he will have to deal with it

i get on very well with the ex, i know things will change once we both have serious relationships but i hope our friendship will not we have both worked at it for the sake of ds as you have, remind him of this

MJHASLEFTTHEBUILDING Thu 11-Aug-11 01:01:47

Message withdrawn

springydaffs Thu 11-Aug-11 09:56:38

It does sound like a very strange set-up with your ex tbh. If he were not an abuser it may be more sensible, but it is not good for your daughter to be involved in a dynamic like that - whether she hears anything or not, the dynamic is there and it will affect her.

Tbh I think this relationship is well over and you need to keep as much distance as possible. She has done you a favour imo. With a fresh eye she has seen that your relationship with ex is inappropriate. She may also be jealous - in which case, all the best to her being with a man like that sad. Have you met her btw?

squeakytoy Thu 11-Aug-11 10:22:31

She went off on one about me asking him to move a chair (I got it wedged on the stairs and asked him to move it when he came to pick DD last week) and asking him when he's due a mobile phone upgrade (he gives me his old mobiles when he upgrades - or did).

To be fair, neither of those things are part of co-parenting.

You can both be responsible parents without him coming in moving your furniture, giving you his old phones, and having a cup of tea. You dont even need to be friends, just polite to each other and civil.

littlemisssarcastic Thu 11-Aug-11 10:25:25

It is not up to your XP to demand you do not introduce your b/f to your DD. It is not your XP's right to expect you to get your b/f CRB checked or to decide you cannot introduce any of your men to DD.

FWIW, I wouldn't be having cups of tea with my XP, and I most definitely wouldn't be asking him to move furniture in my home. I also wouldn't expect him to pass over his mobile phones when his contract has run out.

I am interested to know why you told him about the riots 20ft from your house? What do you think he should be doing about it?

ForkInTheForeheid Thu 11-Aug-11 10:40:43

I have lived the last four years being told how worthless and awful and substandard and whorish and stupid and evil and pathetic and childish I am.

Read this back to yourself again. It sounds to me like you should take a bit of this new girlfriend's advice and step back, only communicating on the essential things. Why have you allowed him to speak to you like that? Is it in the name of your co-parenting ethos? It's completely unfair on you and must be emotionally draining. If you want to introduce your BF to your DD then do it. You have given him fair warning.

clam Thu 11-Aug-11 10:42:12

Well I think that it's not unreasonable he should be informed if the riots put his DD in any danger at all - he might have wanted to come over to collect her/protect her or whatever. But the other stuff? Hmm, maybe step back a bit. Yes it must be annoying that the GF is weighing in with demands on this, but actually, she probably is doing you a favour, albeit unwittingly.
Yes you need to communicate about your DD, but that means ballet classes, school uniform and parents' evenings surely? Not moving chairs and expecting mobile phones. Although it would be nice if you could sit down and be polite over a cup of tea as well. Good for your DD to see, if nothing else.

AbbyAbsinthe Thu 11-Aug-11 10:44:14

Hmmmm. I'm a bit yeahbutnobut about this. It is imperative to have a civil relationship with an ex if you have children together - but the other stuff is a bit weird, tbh hmm

There really is no need for him to be helping you with stuff in the house - surely your own bf could have done that if you couldn't manage it? And giving you his old mobiles when he upgrades is also a bit strange to me - maybe his gf wants them?

CurrySpice Thu 11-Aug-11 10:49:14

Hmmm...I'm unsure.

I "co-parent" with my ex (although the kids spend more time with me) and we do talk or text probably every day (For example, he texted this morning to ask if we could swap two nights round having the girls so that he could go and see a band - I agreed, and asked him how his mom was, he texted back about that and asked how a big meeting I had yesterday went)

If he comes round to collect / drop the girls off, I might ask a favour eg help with something down from the loft

I think, ideally, that's how it should be and I think if there were riots 20ft from my house I might text him to tell him if I had the kids with me becuase I would want to talk to him about what to do

HOwever, neither of our long term partners has a problem with this. Well mine certainly doesn't - I have no idea if his does but I doubt it, and I don't think he would be very impressed if she did tbh

No idea what the point ofthat ramble was but I just wanted to say that it is OK / normal / healthy to have a strong and friendly relationship with your ex (although mine has never been abusive to me)

QuintessentialShadow Thu 11-Aug-11 10:51:27

I am sorry, you asked for perspectives. Your op does not sound like co-parenting, it sounds liek co-dependency!

You need to move on, and take a step back. He does not have to come in and drink tea, he does not have to move your furniture, or help you with anything for that matter, or give you anything.

All you need to do is be factual, to the point, and polite in your dealings with him and his new partner, in matters that relates to your child, only. Nothing else. He has no say in what happens in your life, and you none in what happens in his. It is out of bounds.

youarekidding Thu 11-Aug-11 10:59:39

I don't think it's weird for him to move the chair if it wedged say 20 minutes before he came over so made sense. I would have said if it was wedged for a period you BF should have helped if you needed or a neighbour.

I think seeing as Dad had a new GF your DD should know you have a boyfriend - especially as well for her to see you have your own life, you can explain you have been together for a long time and now want her to meet him. It's nothing to do with your EX it between you and DD.

The phone stuff I guess sounds a little like a friendship relationship, doing friends a favour, and by the way he's treated you do you want him as a friend? He's your DD's father, that is the communication you should have. A cup of tea I guess is OK to discuss things your DD's done, things she needs and how to pay for them but if it's general chit chat then again it's not part of co-parenting.

I think the GF may have a point somewhere in all this, even if it's done for her own benefit in her eyes she will also unwittedly be doing you a favour.

working9while5 Thu 11-Aug-11 11:00:17

Right I know sod all about "co parenting", is it some sort of movement? However, based on reading this, I don't see anything particularly weird about parents staying in contact when they have kids and I don't see anything particularly weird about any of the examples given of normal exchanges in the house and typical conversations. My father and mother remained very amicable after their split though Christ knows how, he was an alcoholic pain in the arse who had been really insensitive to her throughout their breakup etc but he always came in for tea and came to Christmas dinners etc, and they kept it really civil, my mother took the high road and he followed her example. My father had left my mother for another woman but she was invited to all the major family events e.g. communions, confirmations etc and the whole family were beyond civil to her, welcoming her really, even though I know this was hard for my mother's family. This was really very, very protective for us growing up, I can really see this as an adult. Even though things were far from ideal and we encountered our weirdnesses along the way, the fact that they managed to have normal conversations about normal things and chatted and that they sugarcoated the reality was a good thing. We learned the truth as we grew older, but we had immense stability during those years and I am really thankful.

However, if he's calling you whorish and pathetic and stupid etc and saying bfs have to be crb checked, you are describing something very different to this, although it sounds like you are aspiring to it.

He will still be your daughter's parent but I wouldn't be communicating with him as though you are friends if he is being abusive, that's not reasonable. If he can keep it under wraps and be polite and you can maintain civilities as etwo adults who are not in a relationship with eachother but more as colleagues in the job of parenting your child, that's well and good.. but that is not what is happening, is it? This is your issue, not this woman.

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