Disagree with ex on child meeting new partners

(49 Posts)
Torchlight86 Sun 16-Aug-15 01:08:20

Me and my ex have been separated almost 3 years now, we have a 3 year old together and although he treated me appallingly during our relationship have had a pretty good relationship since we split with regards to our son.

We have both started new relationships, I have been seeing someone for about 4 months now, they have not met my son and I do not have any immediate plans for this to happen, I do no see any need to expose him to someone this soon for many different reasons I'm sure most sane people can appreciate

My ex has been seeing a lady for 1 month...and has taken my son and her and her daughter away this weekend while I'm at work. I had a bit of a problem with this and we had a massive argument about it the other day, he just cannot see that it isn't appropriate to be exposing our child to someone you have only just met! A month is way too soon in my opinion, how can you know anything about someone in that short time?

We have both been left feeling bitter and he actually said 'this is what happens when I tell the truth, if I'd just said it was me going away we wouldn't have argued!' That is his attitude to life, if it's easier to lie, then lie!! I know the more I push the issue the more he will push against it!

He has also been pressuring me to let him take our son on holiday abroad which I have totally refused to allow! I do not want to be in a totally different country to my 3 year old child and I believe this is pretty reasonable although he thinks I am being totally unreasonable!

I am one of life's worriers and he seems to think this makes me a worse parent, he said once with regards to them both going camping 'I thought about all the things you were going to ask about safety and made sure I'd covered them before I told you, that's what it's like with you!' As if that's a bad thing? Surely it's sensible to take precautions such as making sure the tent is locked so he can't sneak out at night, I understand the chances of that are slim but what harm can come of covering all bases!!

He is a good father and he does a lot with our son, but I find I am constantly the one who has to just suck it up and suffer while he manages to get what he wants! How can I make him understand that it's too soon for our son to be meeting someone, he has a really bad track record with woman and I know within a few weeks he will be split from this woman and with someone else! I don't want our child thinking this is normal behaviour!! Any advice much appreciated! Thanks

Meloria Sun 16-Aug-15 12:58:33

I don't see the harm in your child being abroad with his own father, who by you own admission is a good father. You will have to relent on this point someday soon so it might as well be now.

wafflyversatile Sun 16-Aug-15 13:05:50

Ultimately you are both the parents and you both have responsibility. When your DC is with you you are in charge and make decisions (and probably wouldn't appreciate him interfering) and when DC is with him he makes the decisions. It's good if you can agree on things but you won't always and it's his choice who to spend time with when with his DC.

No one is the perfect parent and now you've split up you need to choose your battles. Personally I agree that a month is too soon but unless your DC is troubled by it I'd leave him to it.

Taylor22 Sun 16-Aug-15 16:19:00

I can understand your logic however it's your choice not to introduce your partner to your son. He can make his own choice.
I wouldn't say this is something you can dictate over him. You've said he's a good father so you have to allow him to make these choices on his own as long as your child is safe.
Also I understand his attitude of ' I wish I'd never told you' as o said this isn't something he needs your permission for but has now turned into an argument.

wheresthelight Sun 16-Aug-15 16:27:38

I totally understand your point and was incredibly cross with my late mil for forcing dps kids to meet me after only 6 weeks of us dating.

However, he is your sons father and he has just as much right as you to make decisions for him. It ultimately isn't your place to intervene unless you think this woman is a threat to your son. Imagine for a second if you made a new friend who had a kid your sons age and your ex told you that you weren't allowed to introduce your son to this friend, would you willingly accept his control or would you think "get stuffed it is my choice"?

Torchlight86 Sun 16-Aug-15 16:55:31

I agree I have no control over what he does when he has him, the problem is and maybe I didn't explain myself fully, I did not once try and stop him doing what he wanted to, yes in an ideal world I wouldn't have wanted him to meet this woman as like I stated I know this is unlikely to be a long term relationship, and in that sense I think it ultimately will do my child harm, not only is it impossible to know someone's true nature after a month, it is also not a great thing for my boy to be seeing different women every few weeks going out with his father!

The main problem I had was I knew nothing at all about this woman, and when the discussion started and he said he was going with her I actually just wanted a bit of reassurance from him that he wouldn't leave our little one alone with her or her daughter, that she was nice to my little boy etc, that is where the argument started and where we differ, I am very much of the opinion that as parents to a child sometimes we are going to have to suck it up and reassure the other parent whether we feel it's needed or not! For example I was taking him to an ice skating ring for under 5 where they basically walk around in their shoes with toys and get used to the ice, I knew the risks but as an experienced skater myself knew I could look after him and that he would really enjoy it! His father said he felt really worried about it and that he was sure he was going to hurt himself, recognising that this is a horrible thing to feel especially when you can't be there yourself I reassured him, told him the safety precautions explained everything to him in order to make him feel better, because as a mother I know how it feels to worry rationally or not about your son and I wanted him to feel better about it, this is what I feel he hasn't afforded me!

With regards to going abroad I have to totally disagree with meloria, I don't think I do have to relent on this point anytime soon, I am my sons main parent, I see absolutely no need for him to be abroad at such a young age without me, there are so many reasons for this, imagine your 3 year old is in Spain and something awful happens, the thought of being that far away from a child in need is unbareable! Also with him being so young and unable to ask any one for help, explain any situations to someone etc imagine if him and his father were the only 2 people in a different country and something happened to his father, he fell or fainted (he has had fainting spells in the past!) then my little boy is suddenly completely alone in a different country unable to ask for help, tell anyone who he is etc! It terrifying!

Lastly although I said he is a good dad (he is) he has totally different opinions to me of what is appropriate or not, for example when away with this lady he's been seeing he thought it was appropriate to leave her 11 year old daughter and my son alone in the tent at bed time so he could spend time with his new girlfriend, that is totally unacceptable to me, not only is she too young to be in charge of a child, he doesn't know anything about her!

The feeling of somebody else being in charge of your child and you not having any say over how they are looked after at these points is horrible, I imagine he feels bad about things I do, the difference is I know I have safety at the forefront of my mind and he doesn't, and With regards to needing a bit of reassurance every now and again I see this as just being part of a set of parents and actually genuinely want him to feel better if he's bothered/worried about something, whereas again I feel he doesn't afford me the same benefit! x

maybebabybee Sun 16-Aug-15 17:09:10

I know how you feel but you really can't stop his dad taking him abroad , assuming you don't think he'll abduct him or anything.

Spain isn't really that far away either, I dont know where in the UK you are but from where I am it takes way more time to get to Edinburgh on the train that it does on a plane to Spain. Assuming he will be safe with Dad then also his age is irrelevant....if he was sixteen and going away to Spain something could still happen to him and you'd still be the same distance.

Sorry to sound harsh, I am a massive worrier too so I do understand how you feel, but I also realise that my worries aren't helpful to my DC.

Torchlight86 Sun 16-Aug-15 17:12:32

I think I just feel like I'm always the one jumping through hoops for my ex.

He works shifts so I tell him constantly whatever day he wants out little on is fine, he lets me know that week what day it will be, often on the day it's self what time he will be collecting him, this is not convenient for me at all as I can never arrange things with friends at such short notice but I never complain to him, he will tell me he is coming at say 5 so he can go to the gym, I dont get chance to go anywhere like this, for example I did a exercise class for a bit but I was missing so many because he was picking our son up late or changing days at the last minute I stopped trying, I guess I'd just like him to appreciate how easy I try and make it for him and how much I put him first in our child's like. Often our child will say to me that he doesn't want to go to daddies or he will cry when he is leaving and I know this upsets him and I always make an effort to say he's tired or he's been like it with me he just wants his grandma etc you know just to make him feel better, I never tell him our son has said he doesn't want to go, because I know it will upset him, I always send him pictures and videos and tell him our son is looking forward to seeing him etc because it's kind!

The one time I have asked him to have our son a specific day was a few months ago I got the chance to go to a festival, I asked him in plenty of time if there was any way he could have him that weekend that month as I really wanted to go, he said no he was working, fine, then the next time I saw him he said ' I have booked a holiday for October so I won't be having our son that 2 weeks!' I just said that's totally fine enjoy yourself etc but inside I was annoyed because he doesn't appreciate the double standards in that! If he wants to be in our child's life then why shouldn't he be the one to make sacrifices once in a while instead of having the best of all worlds?

I guess ultimately this comes down to me feeling under appreciated and a little bit used, I break my back to make his life as easy as possible and he doesn't even appreciate it, and the first time I wanted him to just say a few reassuring things or see things from my point of view he flew off the handle! �� were in this together and we've got a long road ahead of us, a bit of understanding and grace towards each other is not too much to ask in my opinion! x

crispycookie Sun 16-Aug-15 17:17:48

Torchlight... You have admitted he is a good dad... You cannot be with your son 24/7. Bad things can also happen to him when he is in your care no matter how careful you are about his safety. My exH took both our DCs skiing for their first time earlier this year and they were 7 and 5. I was quite nervous as skiing is not my thing but I checked that he had got adequate insurance for them and they were booked into ski school. On their 5th day there, my heart sank when I read in news report a yet to be named 7-year-old boy had died when he skied ahead of his family in a ski resort near where they would be. Was very relieved to hear from them a few hours later what a great time they were having. My exH thinks I worry too much when we were together and I think it's just that mothers can be more protective of their children.

I am now on an 'exotic' holiday with my DCs. On our first day on a tropical island, we all went to a tiger attraction. You paid to have a 'close' encounter with a tiger. Call me stupid but I didn't realise this meant they put me and my DCs in an enclosure with two rather lively young tigers and their keepers! And they encouraged my DCs to lie on the tigers, hold their tails etc. I was frankly terrified and my firstborn who is a bit foolhardy brave was doing all sorts to the tigers, nothing harmful I might add but still... We got some impressive photos but looking back, it probably wasn't my finest parenting moment but we all survived. Luckily, their dad was fine with it... blush

As a single parent, I have had to accept there are aspects of my DCs' lives I will never share with them or have control over. But I trust their dad and I know we both parent differently but will never knowingly endanger our DCs' lives. And I think this mutual respect we have for each other have helped us co-parent rather successfully. And the DCs will both have a wide range of experiences because we do different things and take them to different places! Both my DCs are extremely well travelled from when they were literally babies and I disagree with you that a three-year-old will gain nothing from being overseas... My DCs and I talk about their travels etc and they know where they have been to etc, I think it will help them develop into well-rounded individuals.

Torchlight86 Sun 16-Aug-15 17:18:59

Maybeebaby - I just used Spain as an example but I understand your point, but I don't totally agree, being at the mercy of an aeroplane and a 3+ hour flight somewhere if something terrible was to happen and you needed to get to them is very far in my opinion!

Mainly though because of his fathers potential to faint, which is made worse in hot countries may I add, how can he be the only person in care of him in a different country unable to ask for help, his age does matter to the extent that he is unable at te moment to reliably go up to someone and say 'I am lost' or m'ive lost my daddy' or be able to remember say his hotel or be able to judge who is a good person to ask for help (a family/a mother and child/ a policeman!) and who is not! I have already said, when he is older and more capable of asking for help etc I will probably let them go, even though I don't want too!

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sun 16-Aug-15 17:22:06

I have the opinion that most people are good people. Spain have Sicily services the same as UK and will make contact should something happen. It would be safer for your son if XP took a girl friend as two is better than one if something did happen. You are obviously a very caring loving parent, and yes it's hard, so if you let him go, grab the chance ms he'd of yourself -in the next apartment to xP-

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sun 16-Aug-15 17:23:48

Social. Head off.

crispycookie Sun 16-Aug-15 17:24:36

Crossed post! Just read your frustration about your ex not doing everything he can to help you out in terms of childcare....

I'm afraid my exH is the same in that I can never understand why he doesn't want to see his DCs more when he can. Everything has to on his terms. You CANNOT make someone care more... I have learned that!

When I have other other commitments now, I always make sure I have childcare lined up, then I ask exH if he can have the DCs if yes, good, I can cancel my alternate childcare. If no, at least I have a backup. It's not ideal cos why can't a father want to see their DCs more! And I'm afraid some just don't...

maybebabybee Sun 16-Aug-15 17:26:24

He's more in danger from cars than planes though.

Isn't the girlfriend going on holiday with them?

Also, as you live alone with him do you also not apply the same logic to yourself - ie you could fall and hit your head or faint or get seriously ill in the house or when out and it would be the exact same situation.

I think you are rationalising it as him being more in danger with his Dad than with you because you are not around to control things. But in reality many of the things that 'could' happen to your DS are things you can't control anyway.

wafflyversatile Sun 16-Aug-15 17:26:50

I think you need to express that to him. If you never tell him that something is an issue then he won't know it's an issue. If you just say 'yeah, no problem' even if it is then nothing will change.

Maybe you can be flexible with times but be clearer on whose responsibility childcare is if times change. So he has a responsibility to arrange childcare at certain times because you also have a life and can't always pick up the slack for him. eg if he can say 'I'm on holiday for a fortnight so can't have him then' you can say 'I'm going to a festival that weekend to I can't have him then.'

Costacoffeeplease Sun 16-Aug-15 17:28:37

So why do you bend over backwards op? Don't let him mess about and only give you a couple of hours notice of when he's picking up your son, you're allowing him to do it then moaning about it, stop it. Set dates and times and stick to them, then you all know what you're doing and you can make your own plans

And there's no reason why he shouldn't take him abroad, as you can too, he's an equal parent

wheresthelight Sun 16-Aug-15 17:37:59

Massive drip feed there op!

If ex is prone to fainting then a holiday in the UK is just as risky as abroad but you still. Cannot prevent it.

You are not your sons main parent. You may be his main carer but he has 2 parents who should be equal.

I get the impression that nothing anyone says is going to alter your opinion that you are right and so there really isn't much point saying anything else is there?

Torchlight86 Sun 16-Aug-15 17:44:58

Maybebabybee - I have spent sleepless nights worrying about something happening too me while on my own with him, I've rang my mum up in tears before because I was so worried if i died in my sleep or something ridiculous he's just be there on his own and no one would know! I even came up with an idea for an app for single parents/old people that runs in the back ground of your phone and alerts someone if you haven't been active for your normal time!! So yes! Lol

I think the difficulty is I am one of life's worriers and he is one of life's 'it won't happen to me' ers! And although this doesn't make either of us bad people it does make us both a little frustrated because we are so different! The more frustrating thing is I recognise that we are just different, neither is wrong but he actually just thinks I am wrong to be like this! As if I can just shut it off! I recognise that both types of personality have their good and bad points, he just thinks I'm an idiot and he's right!! Unfortunately though sometimes terrible things do happen and just as likely with me as with him, but I rest easier knowing I have the little things such as baby gates, a reign in busy places, a tight grip of his hand near roads, a zip lock on a tent etc these aren't going to stop awful things happening, but at least I am recognising dangers and applying measures to at least minimise risks that I can!

I know something is just as likely to happen with me as with him but the difference is as a mother or parent you want to be there for your child and if something were to happen and I wasn't there I just feel it would be so much worse! I know he would just want his mummy and I wouldn't be there and that's the scary thing!

I have tried to explain to him, I've told him I understand he works and has a life so I try and accomedate for this but a little appreciation for all the sacrifices I make wouldn't go a miss! I agree with what someone else said though in these circumstances, I can't make him understand or care about things like that!

Costacoffeeplease Sun 16-Aug-15 17:48:29

Stop being a martyr about access, just stop it

maybebabybee Sun 16-Aug-15 17:56:46

I totally get you. I have had similar issues. Have you thought about getting some counselling/CBT to help with your anxiety?

exLtEveDallas Sun 16-Aug-15 18:00:37

I take it YOU will never take your son abroad then? Because of course if his father can't take him, neither can you.

What his father does with him when he is with him is up to him - you should not dictate. The same for what you do with him, his father cannot dictate.

(Oh and you're not the 'main' parent. You are simply the Resident Parent. You don't have 'higher billing')

Torchlight86 Sun 16-Aug-15 18:08:54

Wheresthelight - you're right, nothing anyone says on here is going to change the fundamentals of my parenting, that's in my bones and I'll always worry, wish I could be with my son all the time looking after him, as I'm sure many parents do.

A lot of people have commented things that equate to 'suck it up and let him have free reign when he's looking after him' which is essentially what I do, I wave him off happily at the door, tell him I'm jealous he gets to go on holiday (camping) hope he has a wonderful time, do as daddy tells him etc! he takes him where he wants, puts him to bed when he wants, feeds him what he wants, let's him watch wrestling If he wants, then he comes home to me and I have to be the one to teach him that actually wrestling moves aren't appropriate to do to your 80 year old grandma, and you can't always have a chocolate bar before tea etc! So actually to that end I do believe I am his main parent, That is my to take anything away from his dad, but I will always be the one teaching him his life lessons, saying no to a toy everytime he goes shopping etc whereas his father gets to be the fun parent who lets him do what he wants, and that's not a dig, I understand that with limited time with him he wants to give him treats and buy him toys etc!

I accept that I cannot control what he does when he's with him, I can control whether he goes abroad now or in a year or two though and unfortunately nothing is going to change my mind on that matter!

I guess more than answers or confirmation on whether I'm right or wrong I just needed a rant and to hear from other parents that they also have this internal battle every day of wanting their child to experience life to the full but also wanting to wrap them up in cotton wool!

I will ways worry when my son is not with me and like I said before, it's not because I think other people are less capable of keeping him safe, it's just that I would always want to be there if something terrible was to happen!

Torchlight86 Sun 16-Aug-15 18:15:04

exLtEveDallas youre right, I have actually said until one of us can take him abroad alone neither of us should, I believe at this age there is nothing he can gain abroad that he cannot gain here! When he is older and we both agree it's an appropriate time for one of us to take him then he will go abroad and experience that.

I think you've misunderstood, I have never 'dictated' to him and believe me if you knew him you would know that if I were to attempt to dictate to him he would surely do that very thing to prove I cannot dictate to him!

My point is we are both his parents, and with that in mind we should be respectful of each other's differences and work together to overcome these, both make compromises where needed and bring our son up to be the best person he can be.

Thanks for taking the time to comment ��

Costacoffeeplease Sun 16-Aug-15 18:16:56

But what about the access arrangements?

Torchlight86 Sun 16-Aug-15 18:20:36

I'm sorry you see it that way, I was simple relaying the facts smile

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