DCs meeting OW (very long - sorry)(29 Posts)
I can't decide is IABU or not but I am very angry and upset and would like some opinions. It's my 1st AIBU!
A bit of background first - H and I separated a year ago. He was having an affair and I found out. He claimed to be really sorry so I forgave him. Last Dec I found out he was still seeing the OW and we separated. He has moved in with OW and I have stayed in the marital home.
We have a DD (9) and DS (6). He sees them regularly but when it suits him. For example if I want to go out and ask him to look after them he won't but will come the next day. He always sees them in the my home and has never told them about OW. I have been struggling financially and rarely go out as I cannot afford a babysitter and a night out. H goes out when he wants, has been on 2 holidays this year and has no commitments but turns up and takes the DCs on great days out which I could not afford. I know I should be pleased they are having these experiences but I am very resentful that I get all the day to day crap - doing homework, get up for school, boring shopping etc and he gets all the fun things with no responsibility.
I have spent the last year putting on a brave face for the children, telling them daddy has left me not them and we both love them so much. I have found it such a hard year as I am lonely and skint and very resentful of H. I have great friends and family but I don't want to just moan to them all the time!
Yesterday H took them out and dropped them home and we had a bit if smalltalk nothing more. DD was upset later in the evening. I was asking why and she told me they met a friend of daddy's and daddy said he lived with her. He had introduced them to the OW and her daughter and not thought to mention it to me
I was furious and texted him (a bit of a rant) asking how he thought this was a good idea and he should have mentioned it to me so I could deal with any questions the children had. He said he didn't want to upset me and thinks I am overreacting.
DD is 9 and not stupid. She knows something is going on with H and OW. She is also very sensitive and I have had problems with her bottling up what she is thinking so she doesn't upset me. She has been very upset at school recently and her teacher and I have been working hard to get her through this. Today she is refusing to talk about it as says thinking of it upsets her too much.
DS generally seems to be coping very well but every so often will break down and cry because he wants H home.
So AIBU to be so cross with H? Was he quite reasonable to introduce DCs to OW and not mention it to me? Just to confirm I don't want him back and I don't care if he has 100 OW I just want the DCs to be happy.
Thank you for reading this epic!
explain to your children that when relationships break down, adults go on to find new ones. that's all daddy is doing. it isn't about them, or you.
If he had asked your permission to introduce them, what would you have said? Honestly?
I think he should have mentioned it to you first so that you could have prepared them first but i don't think he is being unreasonable introducing his new partner to them if it is a serious relationship.
Thank you for your replies.
kinky - I'm sorry if I haven't come across well but I was not wanting him to ask for permission. I just think he should have had the courtesy to tell me so when I have an upset DD I know what I am dealing with.
I think he should have talked to you and warned you, as they live together and have been together a length of time i dont think its unreasonable for him to introduce the kids to her. But i do think he should have spoken to you about it so you could prepare yourself and the kids.
I can imagine he didnt talk to you about it as he was worried how you would react and maybe say no, when he feels its the right time. But that doesnt make it right.
It must be so hard for you and the kids as it sort of solidifies the split.
So i dont think it was unreasonable for you to be upset that he didnt talk to you before but i can also appreciate for him there was probably never going to be a good time to do it as its always going to break yours and the kids heart
But was she upset when she was with him? Was she upset when he returned her to you? Did he have any reason to believe that she was upset at meeting his friend?
he has waited a year before introducing them to the ow & is living with her so reasonanble although he could have mentioned it you. now they have met ow, why not insist they have the dc for weekends to give you a break?! cant see how xp can do more than fun day trips if you dont want dc to meet ow?!
YANBU - I can imagine you would have liked to prepare them in advance. It is a big thing for them to deal with and would have been a shock for them. If you'd known you could have introduced the idea more gradually.
It must be very hard for you putting on a brave face for the children but it sounds like you are doing brilliantly.
I feel for you, it's never a nice thought when there's been a painful OW situation that your DC are going to meet her - no matter how nice the OW as a human being, it's only human on your part to have complex feelings about the OW interacting with them.
I think it would have been reasonable of your exH to have forewarned you, but I suspect he chickened out as he expected you to go off on one. It was inevitable they were going to meet her and your exH has waited a decent amount of time, but if your DD has been struggling with things emotionally it would have been better for you to know.
These things are never easy
OP... I'm sorry you are upset, it must be a very difficult thing indeed.
Why are you so skint? Is your ex paying enough maintenance for you/the children? You don't mention it which is why I'm asking.
H goes out when he wants, has been on 2 holidays this year and has no commitments
sounds like you need to look at the maintenance,
He has commitments his children,
explain you need full communication,
start a hand over book, to avoid stressful conflict, make sure everything that involves the children goes in it.
This is why I posted because I was so mad but thought my other issues might be clouding my judgement! I just feel so guilty that I have ruined my DC's lives and am helpless to do anything about it.
I do accept the OW will be in their lives and am frightened they will like her better than me because she will always do fun things with them and I will have to do homework and hair cuts and boring crap like that. I also work so have to do jobs at the weekend and am not fun. Anyway this will be better in another topic
He should have told you first so that you were prepared for any questions...but he probably thought you'd maybe kick off about it.
As for him having no commitments, holidays and being able to take the kids on nice days out...
Well that normally comes with the territory of being the non resident parent but I know which one I'd prefer any day.
If the kids went to live with him and the OW, you too could have more money and holidays...but I'm sure you'd rather cut your arm off right?
He does pay maintenance which covers the mortgage. I am skint because by the time I have paid bills, council tax, food, travel, petrol etc I have hardly anything left each month. The costs of running the house are the same as they were when H was here but I now only have 1 salary and some tax credits.
Worra - you are so right. I'd never give up the children and I really am so grateful I have them. I wouldn't swap places with him for anything! That is how I usually look at things but I am just a bit down today.
It sounds like it's time to put things on a more formal setting to arrange contact times for exH. And time for him to stop seeing the dc in your home. It must be more distressing for them if he turns up at random times, as though he had 'come home' and then leaves again.
I'm sure you will miss them if they are away with exH, but it will also give you time to get your life back on track and be able to plan (eg) an evening out. If nothing else you will be able to get the housework etc done, so when the dc are at home you can concentrate on them.
Get legal advice & proper maintenance!
Oh and all the boring mundane things like homework, meals, bedtimes, school etc..
Well yes they are boring but actually it's that sort of routine that makes kids feel secure and looked after.
They won't appreciate it now (no matter what the family set up) but they most certainly will when they're old enough to appreciate you.
Don't feel bad OP, they may well become very fond of the OW but they'll never love her like they love you...they're very own Mum.
Fuck, I've made myself almost tearful
YANBU but he is a selfish arse who is always putting himself before the needs of others yes? My Ex pulled a similar stunt with my kids - they were distraught when they came home and it's damaged the relationship he and OW have with the them - DD1 has never forgiven them for putting her in a situation where she was forced into a meeting.
The damage is down now though and it's a matter now of ensuring that you carry on providing a stable, secure base whilst their dad gets his head around the fact that his kids need stability and consistency from him as well.
<<<< hands the soppy Worra a half-used tissue...
He absolutely should have told you first so you would be prepared for any questions or upset. I don't blame you for being unhappy with the situation. It is hard when your children are abandoned and their Dad has gone on to a new family. I agree this turning up when it suits him at your house and the children thinking he has come home. It just simply isn't on.
Can I please reassure you (as an OW). I may get to do more of the fun stuff as i only see my stepson twice or so a week,but nothing changes his love for his mother. Please don't feel you ruined their lives. My stepson is a well adjusted thoughtful young boy, he enjoys his large family and the differences in it. It must be hard for you, but hopefully he is in this relationship for the long haul and if she's nice.... That's better for your children, yes?
I agree that the casual approach to exH contact with his children is not ideal - I have a friend who went through similar and once she got herself together mentally she worked out a structured system of weekends, contact etc and it really helped her get back on her feet as a person
I do appreciate all your replies. I think it's just the general unfairness of it all that makes me upset. H thinks all chlldcare is my responsibility and has only looked after them for 5 days of the 13 weeks of school holidays in 2012, He didn't want to "waste" (his words) his annual leave as he wanted to go on 2 holidays (without DCs). When I tackle him about it he just shruggs and points out the children live with me.
I have a few friends who are from separated families and say they were caught in the middle. I have tried so hard to not put the DCs in that position. I've never criticised H to them, I've always told them we both love them and they'll always see us both. It has been hard and there are times when I've wanted to shout at them that daddy had an affair and it was his decision to leave, but I haven't. I just don't think I am getting the same support from H.
You are all right that I need to formalise something but it is really hard knowing that I may end up on my own every other weekend with nothing to do except housework!
I'm signing off for a bit as I'm getting upset and keep having to pretend to DS that I've caught his cold and that's why I'm sniffing
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