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Children meeting new partner - it hurts

(9 Posts)
ThinkingItThrough Sat 10-Nov-12 23:40:31

Hi - after breakup of 16 year relationship (3 children together, lived together just never married), Ex-P has taken up with someone else. He met her on the internet, has known her for 6 months and is now insisting she is introduced to and spends time with our children. I am finding this so hard because I thought we would be bringing our children up together, not sending them off for him to share with somebody else. But he cannot understand why I should find this hard.

He used to see the children on his own but now sees the new woman every weekend and so they have to see him with her if they are to see him at all. At first they said they didn't ever want to see her. Now they say they don't mind (I think they realise they won't get to see him at all if they do mind).

It all hurts so much, I feel so jealous of her looking at them, spending time with them and cooking and hanging out with them and my ex-p, just was we used to do as a family. In fact it feels like she has stolen my place in the family and I am being pushed out and have no role anymore.

The breakup (his choice) was 18 months ago but it all still feels so raw. He thinks I should have moved on by now and be over everything but really I feel as if I am just beginning to grieve. I am alternately upset and cross with him and permanently cross with the new woman. I know this is not a good role model for the children. Help!!! Did anyone else feel like this - how did you cope?

IneedAgoldenNickname Sun 11-Nov-12 01:44:49

I know exactly how you feel. Me and ex split in May. He's been with his new fiancée 2 months max, yet the boys have met her.

Ds1 (8) opted out of a sleepover at theirs this weekend, and has been having charts with the school pastoral carer to deal with his sadness. He cries about it all maybe 3x per week. The problem of that he wants to see his Daddy on his own, and his dads response is tough I want to spend time with my gf!

So no advice I'm afraid, but I know how you feel x

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 11-Nov-12 09:31:17

ExH left on 31st June and DD had first night with OW sleeping over at his new house on 5th July. DD prior to that thought Mummy and Daddy weren't making each other very happy any more.
It was like being winded. DD doesn't like it, but I think feels if she doesn't go along with it she won't see her Daddy.
I have found that with her the best way is to be non-committal so she says "mummy I don't like OW". "We'll I can understand that darling".
It hurts like hell for quite a while, but I try to rise above it as I see that otherwise they are winning not only are they together, but they are making me miserable too.

purpleroses Sun 11-Nov-12 09:42:57

I know how you feel- ex found a new DP before I did which apart from anything else just did not feel fair.

But 2 years back I was in the position of your ex's new GF being introduced to my new DP's kids - one of whom was initially v hostile. Please do all you can to keep your feelings to yourself. Or rant to friends or on here but if you can give your kids your blessing to get to know the new woman they'll have a much easier time of it. And really no reason to be worried - I've recently moved in with DP and we have his DCs every weekend. I'm fond of them but the relationship is nothing like that with my own kids. Your ex's new GF is an addition in their lives. You're their only mum

Peterpan101 Sun 11-Nov-12 15:10:04

Purpleroses, well said.
OP, you (probably) aren't going to change any of your ex's actions with hostility, and the only people who will be harmed are your kids. Have you tried talking to him about what you feel is appropriate?

I never wanted to introduce anybody to my daughter initially but have met someone with a daughter herself. We have only met with our kids for 'play dates' and we both make an issue of 'not' being affectionate in front of our kids.

My ex is very hostile in general, and has ignored my suggestion for 'future partner ground rules'. Like if she doesn't answer the e-mail I can't have a girlfriend?!!

I haven't rubbed my ex's nose in the OW (not sure if she even knows she exists) and I am not sure my daughter has even thought of her as a 'girlfriend'. My dd enjoys our play dates with the new best friends and often asks about playing with X again.

Athendof Sun 11-Nov-12 17:11:48

Agree with purple, it is far better for the children if you put your animosity to the side and try to help them to deal with it in the best way you can.

If they show hostility towards the new situation, they may end up paying for it. I was happy When my ex found his new partner but after a month or so, DS started to come back very unhappy from contact claiming his dad didn't pay attention to him anymore, after a few weeks I tried to talk to him about it, which he took as if I was trying to medle in their relationship as apparently ds was ok when with him, so he started treating any single interaction as if I was jealous and trying to ruin their relationship and... Kicked his son out of his 'new family'.

It is almost three years since then but the brute still keeps sending letters to keep DS updated on how happy they are and... Telling him all the time how fantastic his stepson is. No interest whatsoever to see Ds yet.

ThinkingItThrough Mon 19-Nov-12 05:24:34

Thanks so much for all the above. I apologise for delay in coming back onto Mumsnet; a very difficult week.

Agree it should be children first but find I don't have it in me to be noble all the time and sometimes the distress just bursts through. It seems now that Ex-P and new partner see themselves as a couple they have so much control over what happens to me and my children.

They want my children's contact pattern with their father to match hers with her own children. Hence my children have been reduced to once a fortnight, and that fortnight is dictated by him and must be the same weekend she has her children, so they can have romantic weekends alone in between. He ignores any emails or requests for contact outside this time.

On the weekends he has them, they have to meet and spend time with the new woman and her children. If he has time to himself with them, they tell me she phones regularly and they hear him shouting at her to leave him alone because it is his time with the children, then she phones again.

My son (12) was argumentative this weekend at home and jokingly I said 'are you like this with Dad?’ He looked sad and said 'No, I try not to be any trouble when I am with him. I want him to like me and have me to stay again. If I'm difficult or don't agree (with him), he might not want to see me again for ages. I am sure this is why he has agreed to meet the new woman but his father just can't see that, he thinks she is wonderful and expects all his children to think so too.

I find this heartbreaking. This is a father who was constantly in his children's lives until 18 months ago, yet they are now desperate for his approval. He is besotted with the new woman and her children (smaller, cuter and less troublesome than ours), and says marriage and more children with her is a certainty. Unlike Peterpan101, above, there has been a lot of 'nose-rubbing' (sending me long messages about how perfect she is compared to me). And then criticism of me for getting upset about it.

So keeping this all apart from the children is hard (particularly when I'm angry with them for treating my children like this), but I'm trying, and inspired by the strength of Athendof (your poor son, hope his Dad regrets this soon), Lonecat and Nickname. At least not on my own with this!

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 19-Nov-12 08:48:29

The fear of Daddy not wanting them if they don't go along with newP is very present here so I can sympathise with you.
My solicitor's words of wisdom which I think apply to your situation are that 'mediation can be a good place to discuss this - to remind him that the point of contact is to benefit the children and the emphasis should be on the quality of the contact'.
ExH changed contact at 2 hours notice yesterday to benefit him and returned an overtired child who had not even started her homework even though he had had her since after school Friday.

ThinkingItThrough Fri 23-Nov-12 00:59:14

Hi Lonecat

Sorry for such late reply again. How old are yours? Mine are 15, 12 and 7 and I find they want to see him for more contact time than he offers or is prepared to schedule and plan in advance. Then I am seen as the baddie keeping them from seeing him if I don't agree to last minute arrangements. He can text (the older two) anytime (typically when they are on the school bus home and we have plans) and say do you want to stay over tonight and I end up with all the outbursts if I say no. And yes, have had the homework thing too. And all clothes, even if sent over ironed and only worn briefly so coud technically wear again are returned to me as every item screwed into a ball and stuffed in a carrier bag. So I have to wash and iron all again. Beginning to realise there are lots of ways ex-p can make what is life difficult though living apart!! Thanks for words of wisdom. Would try mediation re contact, but £££!

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