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advice please

(34 Posts)
Daisypops Fri 31-Jan-14 21:49:35

Exdp and I separated in oct 12. We have two dc. 7 & 2.

Ex saw the children every 4/5 weeks. His choice not mine. contact in between.

He has a new partner who he says he has been with for a year though I think it is less than that. (He text me in sept to say he'd met someone and was in love hmm.

Last week I asked him if he was off work at the weekend would he like the dc. Me instigating contact again. He said yes he would take them out to the park and then to a relatives. I was fine with this. Dc were excited.

I asked if he would send me a pic of them at the park. He did. Only they weren't at the park he'd taken them to his house and introduced them to his gf without me knowing. .I didn't even know the girls name until Saturday. I have no idea where they live.

I am not jealous of them. I ended the relationship for a number of reasons and I am.much happier. I am glad he has found someone and is happy but what I don't like is that he lied to me. I just think maybe he should have asked me and we should have discussed it first.

I think he should spend time seeing the dc on his own because up until now he has only asked to see them once a month. It is only in the last two months dc1 has agreed to see him again. There waa a period of time where she wouldn't see him despite my encouragement.

I accept that the dc will one day meet his gf. I have no objection to this but I would like to meet her too and I think he needs to repair his relationship with dc1 first.

Please dont have a go at me over this. Its not helpful and im finding it all emotionally exhausting.

Monetbyhimself Fri 31-Jan-14 22:28:00

It is emotionally exhausting. It really is difficult. But you don't need me to tell you that there really isn't anything that you can do apart from be a solid, stable constant in your childrens life. Hopefully the girlfriend will be a decent human being who will be kind to your kids

shey02 Fri 31-Jan-14 23:43:33

Seconded, it is emotionally exhausting/draining, especially if you feel that you can have any influence over where the kids go or who they meet when they are with exdp. You can't, it's his free time and making peace with that is crucial to having peace in your own life, for your own sake and that of your happiness and the dc's.

I had every reason to despise my exh's exgf, she was the OW. Every reason to worry about what, where, who, how, etc, in the end it was only me suffering. My kids loved me exactly the same and that's all that mattered to me. My advice, detach, let go, make your free time away from you kids count, enjoy it. Deal with problems as they occur, what if's don't matter and don't tie yourself up in knots trying to influence exdp. Let him make his own mistakes (as long as welfare/safety is not an issue), it's a learning curve for him and all of you as an extended family. But it is separate lives now, with the the kids in yours and his.

Daisypops Sat 01-Feb-14 07:44:37

Thank you for your replies and advice. It does help.

Am I been unreasonable to ask him to see dc alone for a bit first. They only see him once a month. Its only nowhes Inintroduced his gf he asking to see them more. I think he should have one to one with them for a couple of months first because they don't see him that often.

I don't think that is unreasonable. Please tell me if it is.

I would like to meet his gf and she gas agreed. I just want to know who will be spending time with my dc. And I want to let her know what I expect and dont expect. Is this a good idea in practice

Monetbyhimself Sat 01-Feb-14 09:20:34

It's perfectly reasonable to ask. It's perfectly reasonable of him to refuse. It's crap but he really has no obligation to comply. Exs Ow wanted to meet me. Not a chance was I agreeing to that.

Try to focus in the fact that he is increasing his cintact with the kids for now. If they are happy to go, and happy and content when they come home, that's a really good thing. It's the sad, hard reality of separation that you do have to be outside a part of your childrens lives. Be led by them. Your oldest will soon start to let you know if the GF is causing issues with his contact with his dad. Until then, use the time away to focus on yourself, relax, catch up on paperwork or wallow in the bath.
It does get easier. It really does.

Daisypops Sat 01-Feb-14 19:20:53

Thanks monet. I feel a terrible sadness. Almost depressed over it. How long did it take you to 'accept' it. I dread the times they'll go there. What you say about been led by the children is good advice. My youngest isonly 2 she just goes because shes told to. How do I deal with this. Last week new gf changed her nappy. I cried when I found out.

KitsVegetable Sun 02-Feb-14 16:15:08

It does get better, this is just a new phase of the break up.

I just see the gf as an aunty (like one of your parents friends or neighbours you called aunty) who spends sometime with my ds. No big deal, I don't have any reason to think she will be bad for him to be around. But also she is not important. Especially goes for a gf who only sees them every few weeks.

Daisypops Sun 02-Feb-14 21:13:55

Thanks kits. That is a really good way of looking at it. It puts it in perspective. What I am struggling with today is how come he treat me so bad (EA, drinking, been unfaithful etc) yet he can go on and be so wonderfully happy now and him and gf are completely in love and all is perfect. I aren't jealous I am just trying to understand how this can be when he treat me so bad. I also think why should he play the doting father now to show off to new gf when I brought the dc up single handedly because he couldn't be bothered. I know I sound bitter. I do hope hes happy as im not a bad person I think the new gf thing had just triggered lots of thoughts. Any words of wisdom gratefully accepted. I am feeling particularly low and vulnerable atm.

Monetbyhimself Sun 02-Feb-14 21:57:11

Hugs because it is incredibly hard. I think the advice of assigning her the status of an 'auntie' rather than anything else will help. I wish I'd thought of that!
So many mixed emotions, it's very hard. He is very clearly putting on a show at the minute but I think you can turn that on it's head and hope that he is actually being positively influenced by her and he WILL become a better dad.
Take one day at a time. Try and focus on your own time with your babies and use your child free time to care for yourself.

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Sun 02-Feb-14 23:15:53

Oh my God Daisypops I feel exactly the same as you. Our situations are SCARILY similar. Here's a hug. Mine are a similar age too except my youngest is slightly older and I too am almost in tears thinking of her changing your little girl's nappy. It's so fucking horrible! I am so glad I am not the only person going through this and Mumsnet is so great for allowing us to get together like this online for group hugs :-)

The worst thing I can do is think about him/them/what he did to me/etc etc etc. Just thinking about it is so unhealthy. Crying about it is good. Cry your eyes out. Makes us feel better. Thinking about it, imagining things makes me feel crazy and funnily enough, today all of these exact things have been weighing heavily.

Big hug. Focus on whatever makes you feel yourself. Do it if you can. Fantasise. Dream. Imagine your new wonderful life ahead of you


Daisypops Mon 03-Feb-14 09:24:20

Hi green. Its great to know im not alone. Pm me if you want to chat. It sounds like sharing our problems might help if we're in such similar circumstances. X

shey02 Mon 03-Feb-14 10:31:25

It's hard to rationalise all of that and very painful, but I think of it like this; sometimes I think we (including me) marry the wrong men. My ex and I were good friends, I brought the kids up, he provided, all seemed well, but the marriage wasn't what I thought it was. I was in a bubble, he cheated and it exposed an unhappy marriage for just that.

If the new gf makes him happy and a better dad that is good for the kids and good for you. Remember there's no competition here... I'm on both sides of the fence and I can tell with absolute certainty, the power and influence is all yours here. If you put your kids happiness first, hide your pain from them, no one replaces Mum and Dad, no one. Some people want kids who are healthy of mind, happy, carefree who will enjoy their childhoods, enjoying both their parents and the separate lives and who will look back one day with happiness knowing that their parents did their very best. Some people choose to question the kids about who/when/what/how/where, make them feel guilty, divided, disloyal, cry when they go, cry when they come back, all the cliched things and the kids suffer big time. Kids will carry the hurt and pain of a parent very easily should the parent wish them to.

And on the very, very plus side too, I'm guessing that once you're over the grief of the marriage, the adjustment to sharing the kids, life will start to look pretty rosy again. You mention OP that your marriage had alot of problems, you practically raised the kids yourself... So from a relationship perspective, maybe your soulmate is out there too, it might take time, but things can only get better. And when that happens you will want the dc to be emotionally happy so that they can accept your partner. I know it may seem a way off, but when the times comes, you will want that desperately and you will want the kids to see their dad so that you have free time. ;) That's why it's all part of the process of getting yourself and the kids to a happy place which starts now. Hugs to all of you dealing with this situation, I know how hard it can be.

Daisypops Mon 03-Feb-14 11:31:59

Thanks shey. You speak a lot of sense. Last night when I got the dc to bed I came down into the kitchen and cried. Eldest dc came down and asked if I was crying because of daddy and gf. They aren't daft are they?! I said mummy is just tired and made my excuses. But she knows. I need to stop, take control and get back to been the strong me. The relationship was shocking. I stayed too long but because I thought it was best for the children. The bits that are niggling me now are that hes all perfect and loved up and sees the dc when he chooses. Access is difficult with him. Hes awkward andtells a lot of lies. Also the fact that he wants to parade my children about in front of wonderful gf when I have raised them on my own and he contributed nothing at all.

As a side note he drops days on me that he can see the children if we have plans I am made out to be the baddy and im stopping him from seeing the dc. I never have. I asked himmon Saturday to get his shift pattern so we can work out some dates in advance. He hasn't responded. Its as and when he chooses yet im.mad out to be the baddy. The only time I put restrictions on him seeing the dc was when he took them.out and had 3 pints of beer and drove them home. I said he had to see them at a relatives until he sorted his drinking out.

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Mon 03-Feb-14 11:41:15

Oh God Daisy. The drink a problem with my ex too. Very, very concerning. Have you got social services involvement? I'm sorry to sound depressing but so far I've noticed that as single mothers, we are easily screwed about. We are often damned if we do and damned if we don't!

Daisypops Mon 03-Feb-14 11:48:11

No social services involvement green. He was an alcoholic but he wouldnt admit it. I don't know if hes still binge drinking or not.

Daisypops Mon 03-Feb-14 12:05:07

I also wonder if I will ever get the opportunity to meet anyone. I work pt and the rest of my time is spent with the dc. I never go out. Im.not in to dating sites. I dont goto the gym or have any hobbies!!!! I am 100% dedicated to raising my children I love my life as it is (problems aside) so I wonder where and when a chance will ever come up for me to meet anyone!

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Mon 03-Feb-14 12:16:40

Yes I wonder that too!

I'm 100% into my kids too but seriously though, I'm starting to feel a bit neglected!

Have dipped my toes into dating sites again after previous experience led me to believe they weren't for me. I still think they're not for me but honestly what else are we to do??!!

bluebell8782 Mon 03-Feb-14 14:03:25

Hello Daisy,
I feel so sorry for you sad
It really would be better for the children (and you) if access was sorted properly. Times, dates etc.. the kids can look on their own calendars and know when they are seeing dad next. I know you mentioned you have tried and he just isn't responding (helpful). Why don't you look at your calendar and email him dates for the next few months when he can have them. He hasn't bothered to respond up to now so you have every right to take control and say 'these are the dates that are good for us'. You and the children need to get on with your lives and not wait around for him to make up his mind. It's up to him if he responds or not but I think you ought to TELL him now when the children are free if you see what I mean. In an ideal world parents should be able to work together and decide on best contact days appropriately but he's not doing that and has lost his chance to just email when he feels like it asking for access. He would have no right to complain about you 'controlling' access if he can't be bothered to co-parent in the first place. Until he gives you his shift pattern and you can work something out TOGETHER - it should be on your terms. And I agree with you on the drinking side - he would have been over the limit on three pints - completely wrong.

Parents like him really get to me. My DH would give anything to have more access with his DD and here is your ex just not bothering. I just thought I'd give my opinion on that side of things... I won't go into the GF issue as I am a SM myself and I know it's a loaded subject!

Meglet Mon 03-Feb-14 14:11:35

What daisy said about getting contact arranged more formally.

He can't keep fiddling about and seeing them when he fancies, it will drive them and you up the wall. You could try getting him to mediation. Although, again, it's you having to do the donkey work and arrange it all sad.

Daisypops Mon 03-Feb-14 17:30:52

He finally replied with a list of dates he and gf worked out! He said gf is prepared to respect my wishes re him . seeing them alone for now but it needs reviewing in april.

It works out once a month he sees them. I said I will meet gf at her house in april alone! He said 'a brew and a chat' he said?!

I have told him under no circumstances does gf changennappys or bathe either of the dc. I said if either of them go against my wishes its game over he can take me to court for access and at the same time csa can decide how much he pays. Hes paying half what he should pay btw. I needed to get tough and let him know I aren't to be messed with. I think I did that.

God knows how the meet up will go in april. Never in a million years did I think id be doing this :-(

He also said gf would like me to meet her son. Is this necessary?

shey02 Mon 03-Feb-14 23:26:53

Good for you getting tough with the access arrangements. Start as you mean to go on, everybody needs a plan, so you all know what's going on. The drinking thing is a big worry isn't it...?

As for meeting someone, your kids are young so you are very tied to their routines and such. And that is how it should be, don't worry about that too much, it is what it is. However, taking care of your appearance and seeming 'open', smiling and such, making eye contact, you can meet 'someone' literally anywhere. The playpark, soft play centres (go weekends though, when other divorced dads are likely there on their eow's), libraries, swimming with kids, out walking, shopping, coffee shops, gyms (if you can make time).

Make sure your friends know you are available for socialising, accept all offers, even if from an elderly neighbour (she might have a nice son/grandson). Sorry rambling now, just want you all to realise that there's love out there. Most of us have mistaken co-dependency within our tired marriages for love. When the time is right, you will find it and you probably won't meet Mr Right internet dating, but look at it as a practice run, dating school 101. You don't even have to meet anyone, just chatting can build confidence (which is the key thing) and give you a little something to look forward to once the dc are in bed. And you can do it from the comfort of your own home. Internet chatting will also give you the confidence to chat to men when you are out with your friends on a night out without seeming that you have come out of a long relationship....

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Tue 04-Feb-14 11:38:12

I agree, Internet dating can be good for learning to 'sell yourself' if you've lost confidence.

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Tue 04-Feb-14 11:39:03

Bad use of English! 'Promote yourself' rather than 'sell yourself' haha!

GreenRedBlueYellowPurple Tue 04-Feb-14 11:41:06

This time around, I am making great use of the 'blocking device' for POF users who are rude & annoying. Ha!

cestlavielife Tue 04-Feb-14 11:42:45

"under no circumstances does gf changennappys or bathe either of the dc"??

why? it is his call when they are in his care...
if he assesses she is ok to care for your children while he repsonsible for them it's his call.

if you hire a baby sitter or childminder while you in charge, it is your call too.

you would sound silly if it goes to court unless you have some informaiton on her that deems her a potential danger...

yes you do need fixed set dates for contact.
yes you need to sort out finances but that si seprate

but ultimately you dont have say over who he sees during his contact time - or who he hands the children over to for childcare - just as he doesnt during yours...

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