To ask him not to introduce this GF(16 Posts)
Hi, name changed as details are very identifying but necessary for context.
Separated from H for some time, but not quite 2 years yet. Amicable, previous very good coparenting relationship. He got together with a woman not long after we split who was very nice, kind to my children, had no issues with her, sat her in the family pew at my DF's funeral as she was supporting H. Few things that grated but decided not to make a deal out of them and we all rubbed along nicely. Sadly they split just after Xmas.
H is now with a new girl, A. Been seeing her 3 months or so. One night about six weeks in to the relationship he was panicking, whatsapping me for advice as she had got very drunk at his house, ended it with him because she 'couldn't deal' with H and I having an amicable relationship. She went on to 'self harm' (lightly scratched her arm with kitchen scissors) then got in her car and started the engine. At this point he told me to move my car away from my house as she knew where I lived (same small village as H, just down the hill) and he was concerned she would deliberately drive into my car due to her 'major resentment issues'. She drove off (not damaging my car) and he called the police as she'd necked nearly a bottle of gin. She returned after a drunken lap if the village, police attended later and took no action but recorded it as a 'concern for safety'.
To my horror he took her back after this escapade. She has blocked me on Facebook (we weren't friends but I am with H) because it is 'too traumatic' to see me commenting on his posts. By his admission, she has a half-hour paddy if my name is so much as mentioned. H spent DS' birthday with us and she had a tantrum about it.
Far worse is the change in his behaviour, clearly driven by her. We have gone from amicable exes to him being quite abusive to me in messages, telling me I am controlling, manipulative, awful, because she says I am. She has virtually moved into his house and only goes home when he has the children. She is planning lots of renovations which apparently they will jointly pay for.
She has not yet met the children. After 'the incident' he said he would leave it a long time, let me meet her first, etc. Now apparently they will be meeting her soon, she has already started buying them presents which he gives to them. I have serious concerns about her mental stability, but also the impact she could have on the kids' emotional wellbeing. They are going to talk about me - I'm their mum! - and I'm worried about what she will say/do when that happens and how that will impact on them.
I am pleading with him to hold off. I have now instigated divorce proceedings - we were going to wait 2 years for separation grounds but various factors make me want to hurry this along due to her influence on him - and when we go for mediation I want it recorded that they are not to meet her without my permission. He has form for making less than stellar safeguarding decisions around people he kowtows to and he kowtows to her. My 10 year old in particular is super sensitive and will pick up on negativity and be very upset/worried about it as she idolises me.
AIBU in my outlook? And does anyone have experience of requesting similar conditions during mediation/child arrangements in divorce?
Is your 10 year old the youngest?
Of course in mediation you could request this but I suspect the reality is if they are practically living together it would be unenforceable.
It might be better to try to speak to stbexh (as much as he is being an unreasonable arse now) about your concerns (which I presume are predominantly about their safety as well as emotional states).
I think that your kids will take the view that they know you and if she says anything negative about you they will end up not liking her and actually she'll be the one that comes off worse.
Yikes, very worrying and I think you're totally fair to have concerns. Unfortunately I don't have a great deal of advice for you, I'm afraid! But hope you sort it all out x
She sounds very unstable, I would tell him that she won't be anywhere near the kids and you'll involve police threatening behaviour on her part and social services if he tries to let her anywhere near the kids.
Record absolutely everything and get legal advice.
My solicitor has told me that if it ends up in court, CAFCASS will do a safeguarding report. Obviously the police records from that night will be brought up. I don't know if they will check her mental health background? H has intimated that she has received treatment in the past. I don't want it to get that far though because ending up in court will mean I've had to withhold contact. I don't want to have to do that, they love their dad.
Sigh. Why are exes so frustrating? Why can't he just put the kids first?
I'm usually for erring on giving people the benefit of the doubt, but I have to say you sound very well-balanced and tolerant and she sounds like the controlling manipulative one, and your STBXH sounds like he's not a very good judge of character and he's being led by her rather than putting his foot down in relation to her delusional tendencies and that he's putting her first and not the children. It sounds like a tricky and potentially destructive situation and I think you'd be wise to limit their contact with her if you can, and can you use her behaviour to justify, i.e. the drunk driving etc? I don't know how mediation works but I certainly think YANBU to make your request and put forward your reasons. Best of luck. It's your job to protect your children and you sound like you have them at the center of your concerns and a good mediator/mediation service will surely see that that's the case, so I suggest you go forward with confidence.
You may have to withhold to protect your kids. Better they miss their dad for a few weeks than to be exposed to that extremely unstable woman and at risk of whatever she chooses to do. Put your childrens safety before any wants to see their dad.
Do everything you can legally to keep her away from them because once she gets in their life, your kids will be what she will focus all her crazy on.
Ywbu and would look unreasonable to try and make stipulatioms about your exes partners.
Record all negative impacts on your children. Discuss with a nediator how the children can be kept from being distressed etc.
Do not enter into any disvussions about her nor anything other than dc.
Thank you for not thinking I'm being controlling. Apparently with regard to her not meeting the children I am, because she says so.
I'm hopeful that the fact that I had no issues with his previous partner and was happy for the children to be around her (they went on weekends away with H and her whole extended family and had a lovely time) will evidence to the mediator that I'm not some crazy jealous ex wife with a blanket grudge.
I would tell him that you'll have to go to court if he's going to allow them to be around this woman and this might mean that you'll have to with hold contact all together. Also, yes she sounds insane!
He needs to put your children first.
I'm afraid I don't have any advice but wanted to say that this sounds like a very difficult situation and I completely sympathise with you.
Yes. I had something similar, they are still together two years later. She gave me and my ex a lot of stick for being together & daring to have a baby. I still have the abusive messages...it was most bizarre/unhinged.
But what I wouldn't tolerate was her insecurities spilling over into my child. After a particular incident (over a year ago), my child is no longer allowed around there or to see her. Which, bizarrely, my ex agreed to. If they want to be in a dysfunctional relationship, go for it. But leave my innocent child out of your mess.
And for what it's worth, ex used to be all defensive & argumentative with me, when they first got together. But that soon stopped, when, perhaps, on a subconscious level, he knew I had a point.
Some people will put their needs before their own children, it sucks. But we get on for our child. DC is now able to see him in a safe environment, so his relationship is now none of my concern. But any respect for him has long since vanished.
I'm a mediator. Mediation is a great forum for discussing these issues. Make sure you use an experienced mediator.
During mediation it will be your opportunity to express your genuine concerns and the mediator will help make sure you really hear one another. Try and stay as calm as possible so he doesn't become so defensive that he is unable to listen. Say "I feel" "I am concerned" rather than "you are" or "you did". You can feel like finger pointing and he will switch off.
You can agree virtually anything in mediation as long as it's in the best interests of the children. You do have to be aware that he seems heavily influenced by the girlfriend and I imagine she won't be happy about you attending mediation together at all - especially when she is a big topic of debate. Try and focus on her behaviour being the concern rather than criticising her as a person. Remind him you only have info he gave you about her - you haven't just made judgements.
You will have a Miams - mediation information and assessment meeting on your own before the joint mediation and an opportunity to tell the mediator all of the background. mediation isn't about imposing rules on the other but expressing concerns and reasons why you aren't comfortable with his suggestions. It's a case of finding ways of rebuilding the trust and communication and slowing this all down. He's frightened you with what he's told you and the mediator will help him to understand how that has affected you and influenced how you feel about introducing the girlfriend to the children. He has caused the worry with what he has told you so it's important if he stays with this girl that he understands your concerns are normal and you aren't being controlling ect. Ask him to imagine if the role was reversed whether he would be comfortable!
The huge positive is that you were good at communicating together so that foundation is there. I often see new partners temporarily jepodising that, although this is more extreme than the norm. She sounds very insecure and young to me. If you really feel that he is very serious with this girl and the mediator thinks it's safe to do so, maybe a session could be arranged for you and the girl. That would require careful screening. I've done it before and it worked well. It would go along the lines of you explaining why you were concerned and that you have nothing against her don't know her and would like to be civil but you do need to build up the trust after such an awful start. With my mediator hat off I wouldn't want to be civil to her id just hope my ex finshed with her! But if that doesn't look likely then this is an option.
Always remember the long term and how much your kids will both thank you for getting along when they are adults. So may adults tell me that if their parents could have been civil and never speak ill of each other, that it would have had a huge positive impact on their childhood. Don't let this insecure girl take this from your kids.
It looks as if this one will have to play itself out - I am sorry, it might well be a horrible and stressful time.
Sadly, witholoding contact in the first instance is probably not going to look great. And if she's living with him, you are going to have problems keeping them completely away, straight away.
However you start working towards doing that officially and safely, NOW. You've seen a solicitor which is good, now start gathering evidence for court of her unstable behaviour and that you have been fine with previous partners and it isn't a jealousy/parental alienation thing. Detail everything about past incidents. Keep all texts/emails. Make sure your texts/emails are polite and fair.
Speak to the school and make them aware and ask them to keep an eye out for out of character behaviour.
Keep reminding your H that he stands to lose hugely here. In three years, when this woman might be ancient history, is his relationship with his children going to be in tatters too?
Also detail his previous bad safeguarding decisions.
Above all though, it's only been three months. Personally, I think this one will blow up and disappear - sadly the way in which that might come to a head is the day he sees her act inappropriately with your children.
Good post from Booitsme, and tells you everything you need to know, I think.
I'd be very concerned about her too, as her mental health seems very fragile, leading to very unpredictable and impulsive behaviour that could be a real danger to the children. ie drunk driving.
Hopefully, your husband will come to his senses about this relationship, sooner rather than later.
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