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How much say should I have in what XP does when he has my DD?

(19 Posts)
used2bthin Wed 23-Sep-09 13:25:15

My XP has got a very on off relationship with someone. I got on ok with her and it's all been fairly amicable.

He has recently been telling me about the problems they have had and how insecure and unreasonable she can be, including some stuff she has said about wanting him to go travelling for a year hmm it doesn't help with the whole trying to like her thing. As a person I find her nice enough but quite immature. She behaved quite bizarrely at Dds party.

Anyway so last week he said they were about to break upthen this week they want to take her out to visit her friends for the day. My emotional reaction is that she is playing happy families with my DD and doesn't have DDs best interests at heart. But I know I have to get over that because its part of being a single parent isn't it, I have to keep things happy for DD.

I spoke to XP today and said I find it hard to cope with hearing negative things about her then letting her take DD out (it is to visit a newborn baby of friends of hers so seems to me like its more about showing DD off than something for DD)

But its none of my business is it?Someone tell me how they handle this sort of thing please!

GypsyMoth Wed 23-Sep-09 13:34:59

no,its non of your business. her dad is there to keep her safe. thats it.

doesn't sound like they will be together forever does it? just let it play out...

used2bthin Wed 23-Sep-09 13:44:53

Yes I know you are right, think thats what I needed to hear. It really doesn't I just struggle with the unfairness of it all for DD who has so many issues to contend with as it is. But it won't do her any harm to have a day out with her dad whatever they do. It irritates me that he only ever wants to take her out for any length of time if its with her but thats my issue with him so I need to keep it in perspective.

mummygirl Wed 23-Sep-09 19:47:40

How old is your dd?

You know, little cildren LOVE newborn babies, and she (the g/f) could very well be doing it for your DD, or trying to combine interests. (I'm not taking sides, only trying to encourage positive thinking)

used2bthin Wed 23-Sep-09 23:04:50

Yes its true she could be. I've learned tonight that her mum will also be there so it seems to be a bit of a meet the family type thing.

I find the whole idea really difficult but I think I need to just distance myself again.Its unlikely to be a long term relationship and if it is I can deal with issues as they come up.

mrsjammi Fri 25-Sep-09 09:14:11

Message withdrawn

ChocHobNob Fri 25-Sep-09 12:46:41

If I was you I would actually be telling your ex to stop whinging to me about his new girlfriend. I would just say unless it directly affects my child I don't want to hear about it.

echofalls Fri 25-Sep-09 12:49:00

none of your business I'm afraid but then your ex shouldn't be having a moan about his gf to you...how do you think she would feel about it if she knew.

ChocHobNob totally agree with your post smile

used2bthin Fri 25-Sep-09 17:13:46

Yes I think the issue has come up thanks to him coming to me expecting sympathy after a row with her. I don't give it btw and have tried not to engage but it has definately affected how I feel about her. Her behaviour at and since the party has been a bit rubbish too but I waved them off today on thier trip and did the whole have a lovely time bit.

Its hard sometimes isn't it? I need to speak to him again as he has cancelled having DD tomorrow due to something his gf has arranged. I'm upset about it but can't force him to have DD. I think we need to have a more definate arrangement so he can't just say oh sorry I forgot I'm doing xyz.

curiositykilled Fri 25-Sep-09 18:01:59

Your X shouldn't be talking to you about his new relationship. You just shouldn't have that kind of relationship with him, if he wants to talk to you you should tell him you don't want to hear it because it undermines contact.

I wouldn't let a partner of XP's be involved with the small amount of contact XP has unless they are living together. In which case his partner can be involved as much as she wants. I do draw the line at XP taking DCs to visit his girlfriend's family and having them call her relatives 'aunty' and 'uncle'.

He initially thought this was unfair of me but I explained that since DH and I are married, the children live with us and see him for 2 or 3 hours only once in a while it was important that he spent time with the children building his relationship. That his partner was part of him because they lived together but I felt it was inappropriate to be engineering 'family' type relationships between his children and his girlfriend's family when he only had a short amount of time with them anyway.

Once I explained he agreed so he occasionally visits his girlfriend's family with them but not each visit and he has stopped calling them 'aunty' and 'uncle'.

I feel it is important for all of us to have separateness. We have our own parties for the children for their birthdays. This is partly because XP was abusive to me and my family can't cope with having him around. The DCs get two celebrations so they don't mind. I have been so glad of the separation. Maybe as time goes on and the DCs get bigger we will be more able to integrate but I believe the total separation has been helpful for all of us, DCs, XP and I, in establishing our new directions.

used2bthin Fri 25-Sep-09 20:47:13

Thanks curiosity. It sounds like you have worked really hard at maintaining the right balance for your family.

For xp it has all been a bit blurred because we had decided from the start to raise DD living seperately, then tried briefly together but have got on reasonably wellsince not being together and until recently my relationship with his family has been perhaps a bit unusual in that we still o for dinner with his mum and brothers and sisters.When his gf came on the scene I tred to take a step back but still be friendly. It is hard to get the right balance.

DD was so young when we split that we just did everything together for a while, it is only a very recent thing that she has stayed the night with him. Its the gf's family thing that upset me I think, I felt she was taking dd there to play families and show DD off but really, I guess it didn't matter because DD was safe and looked after and had a nice time. What has worried me is the instability of the relationship but as everyone has pointed out I shouldn't be aware of the details of that! We probably have a bit of an odd relationship, I would happily talk to him about any dates I've had but maybe we need to have some boundaries. We certainly need to for actual relationships.

ChocHobNob Sat 26-Sep-09 08:34:07

I think it's natural to feel upset at the prospect of your ex's partner "playing happy families" with your DD but really what you need to focus on is this new partner's family are just even more people to love your DD. It's much better her being accepted into this bigger family than pushed out, IMO anyway x

ChocHobNob Sat 26-Sep-09 08:35:49

Forgot to add, and when you meet someone and your DD is accepted into their family you wouldn't want your ex dictating whether your DD should be allowed to spend time with them or not xxx

curiositykilled Sat 26-Sep-09 13:34:40

Thanx, we have all put a lot of work into it!

I think if you have a relationship with xp where he has a lot of actual responsibility and involvement then you need to accept his judgement on the new girlfriend's suitability. He definitely needs to stop talking about her to you though!

I have more say because xp only really sees the children for a couple of hours once every couple of weeks so it is important that they spend all of that time bonding with him. His girlfriend is part of him but her family is not. If we had joint responsibility I would not prevent her family being involved.

I think you just needs some rules about what is and isn't acceptable in your situation so that if at any point either of you are unsure you can revert to a rule.

I find it helpful to not look at XP's relationship with his girlfriend at all (beyond whether he is abusive to her which he is not) and to look at whether the children are happy with their relationship with her. They are, she is very caring towards them and probably better at recognising their needs than XP! I have been glad to have her as a stabilising influence on him which I feel is an achievement since he left me for her and she was initially egged on by him to bully me. We have all come a long way.

AnAuntieNotAMum Sat 26-Sep-09 13:46:19

I wouldn't worry about visiting the baby but if it's true that she wants him to go travelling for a year then I would become annoyed with her. I think if you go out with a man who has a child you cannot expect to put your needs over the needs of the child.

used2bthin Sat 26-Sep-09 20:35:22

Thanks, some good advice here. XP doesn't have DD that often and has only just started to have overnight stays which are not (imo)that often which was his choice. He also seems to feel torn between DD and his GF sometimes which worries me as it shouldnt be like that. I don't think she is a bad person I just think she is unaware of some of the issues. Everytime I bring it all up with him he gets angry and asks me why I am being difficult. Because I don't see him without DD there its really hard to discuss these things.

ChocHobNob Sun 27-Sep-09 07:58:15

Could you get an email address off of him and conmmunicate via that?

My Husband only does brief hello/everything OK/goodbyes at pickup/drop off and all other discussions go via email.

curiositykilled Sun 27-Sep-09 09:18:04

The e-mail is a good idea. Or could he come round when dd is asleep?

I think it's important to remember that whoever your XP is and whatever priorities he has are his own choice and responsibility. You have a duty of care to DD so you could point out that DD needs to be prioritised or maybe when he is prioritising GF over her but if he doesn't want to prioritise her trying to make him will only damage her relationship with him because he won't stick to a contact arrangement that he doesn't want. Basically you have to work with what you've got. However much commitment he is willing to give. Crap, but you can't change who he is.

Could you go to mediation if you are struggling to communicate?

used2bthin Sun 27-Sep-09 13:23:00

I've asked him about mediation before and he just says he thinks we are managing well as it is. Its true that we get on ok mostly but part of that is possible due to me not being assertive enough. The email idea is really good I will see what he thinks because it would be a way of having times and dates in writing so there would be less of the "oh I didn't think it was definate" stuff. He also is very good at making me feel bad (ie he implied I was only upsety that he backed out of having DD saturday because I'd made plans) I actually hadnt and was more upset about the implications of him letting DD down rather than his GF but actually I should be able to make plans two days before the day that he's arranged to have her.

Good points about his priority too I think I start to feel bad for DD that I am not making him do (what I feel)is best but yes I think I need to just stick to my own parenting-thats enough to worry about!

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