Coparent has new GF - help!(5 Posts)
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.
She sounds insecure and so is reacting in a controlling manner.
She also may see 50 50 as odd given her ex has their DS so little.
Have you sat down together to talk about this?
I'd suggest you sit down and have a chat with your ex, then try to get everyone together to talk this out. If nothing else you would get to know more about where he and she stands for good or ill.
These issues will fester unless you get them out into the open, HTH.
I don't think you will like this comment, but I am afraid I am more in agreement with the gf than you - sorry!
I think important communication about the child is good but I think it should be just that - the important and big stuff. The everyday stuff - and yes things like moving a wedged chair and having cups of tea - is not, in my opinion, properly moving on.
The way I would look at it is YOU parent when your daughter is with you, HE parents when your daughter is with him. The amount of crossover or chitchat should be minimal I think. And yes, I can see from the gf's perspective that you might be still wanting/needing your ex, when it suits and is convenient for you! It's probably not very pleasant for her to have you (maybe seemingly!) always on the phone, interrupting their evening etc etc.
My own experience (my estranged husband has kids on 50/50 basis with his ex) might be colouring my view though! The thing I found most difficult was ever-present (in spirit if not in body!) ex, looming in the background all the time!
Ok, well to begin with you have got a massive problem innate in his behaviour towards you. This is nothing to do with her but does suggest that your close relationship with him (in an everyday sense I mean) is possibly a way of compensating for knowing he treats you like shit...if he's still that close with you, to help you move furniture, get you out of trouble in that sort of situation, to be your first person you tell about scary stuff (riots) and giving you his old phones, then it means you can almost dismiss the knobbish way he speaks to you because you're still getting some form of commitment from him. And you are.
She is rightly finding this very difficult to ignore because basically you and he are still in a relationship of sorts. And it seems very much on the pretext of sharing the children, and needing to be effectively on good terms in order to fulfil that...yes of course and I can see why you have to do it like this - perhaps if he was nicer and easier to get on with you could maintain better boundaries.
She is right that you are calling him about things not pertaining to the children and clinging to a relationship with him, which is not exactly a friendship nor is it sexual/love based but it is a dependency, and to my mind, he needs this just as much as you do.
I imagine if he were to stop having this contact with you, he would have no outlet for his bullying tendencies and would have no alternative but to take it out on her instead.
He's not the kind of man I'd want to take up with...my partner is in a shared parenting situation also, and close enough to his ex, but it's pretty much in the open, neither of them is unreasonable though I had to draw the line when she started being a bit overfriendly towards me and I couldn't cope with the three way dynamic. So now he deals with her and I deal with him and it's all ok I think. But then she has a partner too and I think she asks him when she gets a metaphorical chair stuck, iyswim...not my partner.
I have no problem at all with the relationship they have and I have what I need with him in spite of, or alongside, it. I've no idea how she feels about it but I think it's Ok.
HTH a bit. in short I think you've got a tough situation and you're dealing with him as best you can BUT your demands/requests are not compatible with his having a standard relationship with a new partner. I think it all needs to be looked at again. Maybe something else will have to give. But you can't reasonably keep contacting him for his help in these sort of situations, and she is right to feel uncomfortable with it...what does HE want?
he may have to choose.
Have replied in same thread in AIBU.
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