AIBU - ex wants me to agree not to keep introducing my partner(16 Posts)
I talked to my husband (soon to be ex) in January last year about wanting to separate - we had been unhappy for years and whilst I'd tried to communicate to him about it, turns out he just wasn't listening. He took the separation really hard and hasn't really processed his grief.
Although he was SAHD (in name only - didn't enrich the children's lives or care for house), he moved out (his choice). I bought the house off him; he's had around 55% equity from the house; gives me no maintenance and has supported childcare - largely on his terms - to allow me to keep working by having them one (and since May this year, some weeks 2 nights) overnight a week.
He has had them for 8 weekend nights - 7 of those were arranged with less than 24 hours' notice. I could go on about his behaviour and his rants at me for ending the relationship with 'no warning' but they won't add to the context!
In August, he confronted me and said he thought I was seeing someone (I am, have been since beginning March -over a year since we separated); he told me that he's been seeing someone since August (4 months after we separated).
In September, I told him my new partner had picked me and our girls (age 10 and 6) up from the airport because the taxi had let me down. I also told him, that, after they'd met my friend (who they've heard me talk about over the previous 6 months) I said he'd asked me out on a date. I told him how the 10 year old reacted to this news (my Mum died when I was 12, so I had some experience to draw on from a parent starting dating) and how I was intending to support her and move at a really slow pace of introductions.
That night, around 11pm,I got a series of angry, venting texts about how wrong it was of me. This continued for weeks; I kept trying to ask to talk face to face, but he insisted on texting. This wasn't helpful and I kept cutting them short because they were searching/demanding and I found them abusive and, towards the end, quite scary (regarding his state of mind). I also got the locks changed on my house, because I was worried about him (he has history of anger/rage).
At the beginning of October, I invited my partner to have a 'fun day' with my children and me, I let my 10 year old choose what we did - she chose to stay at home. So we went for a dog walk; had some lunch; played a board game and he left. 6 year old really likes him; 10 year old needs much more time.
Ex demanded that I give him assurances my partner will never spend the night in the house while the girls are here. I refused to give such assurance, but said it wouldn't happen until I'm satisifed it's an appropriate time.
Cue more texts in the early hours. We met face to face, had a really reasonable conversation for 2.5 hours. Then at 4am I got more texts (he smokes weed heavily, so I assume he gets stoned, paranoid and vents) saying he's actually not happy and can't believe I allowed my partner to spend time with us after he told me his concerns (which, understandably are around another man being around his children - I get that - but primarily are around another man forming attachments with his children and vice versa). He's asked me to not let him spend more time with us.
I think it's unreasonable of him to ask; I've explained I have no problem with him introducing his gf (he seems to have taken the martyr stance and says that he will keep this part of his life separate until both children are old enough to understand); I've explained that more, responsible, warm and loving people in our children's lives can be a good thing
His concerns are: the speed of my relationship (now 8 months in); the fact that I seem to be thinking things through from my perspective and not taking into account his concerns and that he's asked me not to have contact with my partner with my children and that he thinks I'm going to go ahead and do it anyway, regardless of his fears (being replaced in their lives). To be fair, I do think I'm going to go ahead.
I know legally he has no right to keep trying to control me in this way; if he has legitimate welfare concerns, that's a different matter. I've been trying to keep things amicable (ish) to get the divorce sorted (I want a clean break consent order)
He's despairing that I have acted the way I have; I'm despairing that he's trying to control my relationship so much (with a vague link to children's wellbeing, which is my primary concern anyway).
My friends have said it's just none of his business and I need to keep moving on. But I needed some impartial input - am I being unreasonable?
Sorry for the ramble, I've tried to be concise, but there's so much I've left out, believe it or not!!!!
He needs to stop smoking weed, getting paranoid and acting like an idiot at ridiculous times of night.
You’re trying to do this as best as possible.
You seem quite down to earth and reasonable, from your post, OP. I understand his concerns but you have hardly rushed headlong, into this relationship. I think all you can do is keep repeating the reassurances and stand your ground. He seems rather unbalanced to be honest. I would also be telling him you won't respond to angry texts in the middle of the night.
Please stop responding to his late night ramblings though. Say you'll talk in person and then ignore.
It's your attention he wants here really - don't give it to him.
I think you know that you are being reasonable, but just need some reinforcement - so here it is!
It's really not your ex-husband's business anymore to dictate what you do with the kids unless he has legitimate safeguarding concerns. This simply isn't the case here. You are already treading carefully (good idea) and thinking primarily about the welfare of the kids.
For the sake of your own sanity, in my experience the best way to do with this is to simply stop engaging. Just don't reply to his texts and hopefully he'll run out of steam. If you are clear about your own decisions, then it's much easier to place a brick wall between you and the carping of whining exes.
It's none of his business.
I would state to him once, and once only, that you have no intentions of engaging with him on this any further, that you are no longer together and that you are in a new relationship, and that while you understand his apprehensions on being replaced by another man, he is and always will be their father and you're not looking to replace him in your children's lives, but that it stands to reason that as you are now single it is natural for you to want to explore a new relationship. And then consider the matter closed.
And ignore his messages in the middle of the night.
It's not unreasonable. He is their father and has a right to be concerned (I would be in his position). However what is unreasonable is the way that he has voiced his concerns. You did the right thing splitting up.
From my own similar experience I used to block my ex’s number overnight and un-block in the morning. He was reasonable as anything during the day but overnight, when he’d had a drink, he would start getting out of hand. In a short space of time the overnight messages stopped, he knew I wasn’t getting them so stopped bothering to send.
In regard to introducing your partner to your children, you seem to be pacing it well and have your children’s welfare at the forefront. If your ex’s concerns were centred solely on the children I would be more understanding, but (and i accept I could be projecting from my own experience here) it sounds like it’s a way of keeping some control in your life. Unwarranted and unnecessary, and he isn’t actually putting the welfare of the children first, his own feelings are in that top spot.
Why on earth does he have a right to be concerned? OP has the right to introduce her children to a new partner. If it was a string of new partners then I would understand but it isn't. He can feel concerned internally but as for expressing his concern he can but the hell out.
YANBU I agree to blocking his number overnight. I suggest you start claiming maintenance too if he can afford weed he can afford to contribute!
I am the ex wife being paranoid and hurt about the introduction of ex's new woman. But he met her one mo th after the split, the following month wanted to introduce her, did anyway. Went on holiday with her and since then five months post split she's a constant being invited to family events and sees the dcs every contact time. I recently tried again to voice my concerns when I thought she'd stayed overnight in the house. Both my dcs get up at night and wander into the Dads bedroom as wa ours and the older one 10 is at an impressionable age. Ow hadn't stated but exdh again is spitting fire that I would seek to control their behaviour and says it's my issue, that the dcs are fine. TBH they seem ok with it and like her, but I wish they would slow down.
It sounds to me like you are far more considerate of your dcs and ex. Maybe the tension between you is what makes it worse for dc
My experience is the same as Shandybass. My STBX introduced the OW 4 weeks after we split.
YANBU OP and l think you are approaching it all correctly.
In regards to your ex - l think having the conversations via text isn't necessarily bad. It means you have evidence of his inappropriate behaviour.
Just tell him that your concerns are for the children and the children only.Dont give him information about your new partner,don't explain or justify.
And block his nighttime texts.
Keep his texts to you,if he does try to make this an issue during the divorce then showing what he has really said would be useful.
You sound as if you are doing really well.
Why do they want to continue controling us?
Thank you all for your responses; it's been a hell of a week but I think we are (slowly) getting there. I've stuck to my 'I will not discuss my new relationship via text with you' stance; it's just too invasive and none of his business.
I did think I was being reasonable, but friends and family will always take my side, so appreciate the impartiality of your feedback
I've had another 2.5 hours with ex, face to face, which seemed much more reasonable (until he couldn't help himself yesterday in a text reference to my bf, which i ignored) and then had a nice chat with oldest DD and reassured her that her Dad knows about bf, is OK with it (!) and that she can talk to either of us about it or anything else she's worried about. I also reassured her that if she's worried about us 3 (including her sister) and our time together, we will make plans to address all of this (before her Dad moved out, we did most things with just the 3 of us as he wouldn't join in, my bf would love to join in with anything, but I don't want us to leap to being 4 all the time). And I (very gently) told her that I want to keep seeing bf because he's kind and thoughtful and I like him a lot (I want her to grow to learn it's a loving, warm relationship to help her understand 'proper' adult relationships).
Fingers crossed and thank you, again. I really feel less torn about the fact that I may be doing the wrong thing. But also realise that all the 'noise' and stress that ex is making/causing was really getting to me and blurring my vision of how to support my children.
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