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HELP please. Can I stop my ex from introducing the children to his girlfriend?

(61 Posts)
Dumpsville Tue 29-Mar-11 22:21:40

My partner of 12 years has recently left for another woman. I found out on Xmas Eve that he had been having an affair for 3 months, and although I made it clear that I wanted to try and work through this for the sake of the family, he left on NYE. He is now renting a flat in the local area, and although SHE was married she is now separating from her husband and spends most of her time living at the flat with him. I have made it absolutely clear that I do not want the children to meet her yet, so up until now she has not been at the flat when the children stay every other weekend.

Although I am trying to make positive steps all the time, he seems to enjoy landing nasty surprises on me all the time. It is almost as if he is punishing me, although all this really is entirely down to him and he was the one who had the affair and left me and the children. He has said that he hadn't been happy for the last 2 years, but I am sure that it is just him trying to shift the blame and making excuses for his behaviour.

We had written an agreement between us in the early days, covering the finances, house, access etc., but (because we were not married and I do not have as many rights as if we were married) I also went to a solicitor to try and make our agreement legally binding. Although he has had a draft copy for the last 5 weeks, he still hasn't been to a solicitor. The agreement cannot be formalised until he has had legal advice, but he is deliberately not doing this. I feel helpless.

The latest nasty surprise is, that I have just found out from the children that he has promised them that they can meet HER in the next few weeks. He had not discussed this with me first, and he knows that I am dead against this - but yet again I feel helpless. Because we weren't married and the children were born before 2003, I have sole parental responsibility - but does this count for anything in helping me to stop this happening. I would really love to hear some advice from you great people out there as to what I should do.

It has all happened so fast, and I am struggling to keep up with the fast pace that he keeps forcing on me. I understand that he has moved on mentally, and he is obviously smitten, but it has still only been just 3 months for me since I found out about all this - and I am struggling to keep making those positive steps when he keeps dragging me backwards to all that hurt and upset all the time.

Sorry to go on a bit - but I would love some advice. Thanks.

chunkybum Tue 29-Mar-11 23:02:27

im sory to not give u an answer im just bumping, sending lots of sympathetic hugs

cestlavielife Tue 29-Mar-11 23:16:22

you cant literally stop your ex from introducing her - even if she does not stay there they might be meeting in cafe/park etc. while they in his care he decides who they meet...

re: legalising everything - finances - you can go to CSA .

contact and residencey - you can file application for residence order whch will also include contact arrangements to formalise it. court application fee about £130 i think . so if he delaying agreeing via solicitor then you can force the issue

cestlavielife Tue 29-Mar-11 23:18:34

seeing as children are eight or older - i think they can cope with the truth and meet her to be honest - and cope with meeting her. in fact it might help them make sense of what ishappeneing to put a name to her....realsie she isnt (probably) an ogre jsut another human being - whatever you feel a bout her .
if it goes on long term then she wil be part of their live s

gaelicsheep Tue 29-Mar-11 23:19:31

Sorry but I would have thought it is up to your children, not you.

Patienceobtainsallthings Tue 29-Mar-11 23:44:06

post on the dumpling no more thread if you like dumpsville,women on there have had to deal with this if your interested . I get the whole shock thing .One minute you think you are spending the rest of your life with this bloke ,next minute he leaves and now he is planning to introduce his gf and your looking after the kids ,trying to keep everything stable for them emotionally although you are left reeling by this mans actions .The man you thought you could trust more than anyone in the whole world.Im not in this situation yet but X 42 yo is seeing 21yo.This wasnt how Id planned my life but learning to roll with it as you will too.One day at a time and try not worry about stuff that hasnt happened yet but yes they are his kids too no matter how much of an arsehole he is.

TobyLerone Wed 30-Mar-11 12:56:06

You can't stop him. It's really none of your business.

You can't stop him. Don't even try. The only way forward is to focus on your own life and your own wellbeing while trying to maintain a civil relationship with XP for the sake of the DC. DOn't put them in a position of having to worry about adults' hurt feelings, or keep secrets from you.

lifeshock Wed 30-Mar-11 13:29:32

I actually disagree with other posters
I think it is far too soon for your children to meet this women
They have already been through far too much change and upheaval. It is something that they will have to do eventually but not so soon after the relationship has just broken up. Think if anything it might make them more unhappy/confused. Tell your ex to stop being selfish, think of his children and wait a few weeks

Patienceobtainsallthings Wed 30-Mar-11 13:50:14

Op says she doesn't want gf to meet dcs "yet " its not NEVER ,i read it like wanting to maintain stability for the kids.I imagine op is still pretty raw after finding out 3 mths ago her X was having an affair.Perhaps the gf has asked to meet the kids,perhaps the X is just blaming op for everything to justify his affair,out of interest what do people reckon is best for the kids,time wise to introduce a partner 3 mths ,6 mths ,12 mths ?
I imagine sitting in ur dads car and gf sat in the place of your mum 3 mths later would be quite upsetting for a 9yo ,especially if mummy is still crying a lot.I don't see how that helps the relationship with their dad.they can work out he sees his gf more than he sees them.I think everyone has enough to deal with in the early days and introducing the gf is just selfish tbh.but kids are not our property we just look after them as best we can when they are in our care.best of luck OP its like a fecking roller coaster ride atm but you'll be cool put urself first ,nourish urself and good luck with legal stuff.

Patienceobtainsallthings Wed 30-Mar-11 13:52:27

Xp life shock

TheVisitor Wed 30-Mar-11 13:54:28

I think you're perfectly within your rights to ask him to wait until his relationship is properly established and likely to be long term before letting the children meet OW. The children's stability is the most important thing here.

prh47bridge Wed 30-Mar-11 14:00:52

Legally you cannot stop your children meeting this woman, any more than your ex can dictate who they meet while they are in your care. If you try to do so this could be used as evidence against you if there is a dispute over contact. It could lead the court to believe that you are being unreasonable. You can ask him to wait but that is all you can do. If he is determined to introduce the children to this woman I'm afraid you can't stop him.

Mumfun Wed 30-Mar-11 14:16:04

You will get a variety of advice. Strictly legally you cant stop him.

But people whove been through this such as Patience speak good sense!

Personally I would give X hell over it and ask X if they going to introduce every new partner to kids within 3 months - what a lovely life they willl have. I would ask him to wait at least 9 months to show a lasting relationship.

You know it depends what the new woman is like -Ive been told by some dumplings that the new woman is often put off by dealing with unhappy demanding small kids and its the death of the new relationship. But obviously not in all cases.

Patienceobtainsallthings Wed 30-Mar-11 14:39:12

Just to say I didn't have to deal with this yet but I did get dumped after 16 yrs so I know that 3 mths in I was all over the place but didn't need to deal with Ow.my X has got gf now and I did ask she wasn't introduced to the kids and X said it would never happen.but he said a lot of things would never happen so just waiting for that but he only sees kids Sunday afternoon and she works apparently.anyway others on the dumpling thread had this to deal with around 3 mths they are always around for a chat x

Patienceobtainsallthings Wed 30-Mar-11 14:58:11

Ps I'm not bitter ,I'm well rid ,he is an abusive drunken bastard.But only thing important in this is my kids so if its long term cool if its just a bunk up no need for her to see my kids.

cestlavielife Wed 30-Mar-11 15:01:10

you can ask him to please wait before introducing.

but you cant physically, legally stop him, no.

so maybe best to decide where to focus your energies.
which battles.

gettingeasier Wed 30-Mar-11 15:14:49

I asked my xh to wait before introducing ow into my 13 and 11 yo dc lives and he did so for around 4 months after that I bowed to the inevitable and within a further 2 months she was a big part of their time with him.

It was far more painful to deal with than the loss of him but I am glad now I got it over with but from the dc pov it should maybe have been longer before she was in their lives but hey he just couldnt wait.

Dumpsville Wed 30-Mar-11 15:47:41

Thank you to all for your messages. I know that ultimately I am going to have to get used to this idea, but I totally agree with 'gettingeasier' that this is actually far more painful to deal with than the loss of him. It is the one thing I have been absolutely dreading.

I do think however that this is my business, because it relates to the wellbeing of my children who I am trying to guide and help through this difficult time. My 11 yo ds has worked out that X cheated on me, which is hard for him to come to terms with, because his allusion of his father has been dented.

I did tackle X about why he talked to the dc about this, before discussing it with me. His reply was that the dc brought up the subject of OW, and so he 'just' asked if they wanted to meet her and they said yes. He cannot see or admit that he led the subject of meeting OW. At this stage, the dc will agree with anything because they just want to please us both. Interestingly. he says that OW is not that keen on meeting dc yet either - so this is purely down to him but I just cannot fathom out why.

I have calmed down a lot now, and the feeling of pure panic is subsiding. I am interested, same as Patience, as to what is the decent length of time before introducing OW. I am thinking 6 months.

Thanks again to all.

mamatomany Wed 30-Mar-11 15:50:27

Ask him how he'd like it if you introduced them to your new man, see if that provokes any thought in him.

WhenwillIfeelnormal Wed 30-Mar-11 16:08:26

I'm horrified that you haven't had more empathy on this thread from some posters OP. You are only 3 months on from an earth-shattering discovery FFS...sad

I can quite understand your feelings and think it was hugely manipulative of your H to raise this with the DCs without speaking to you first. Of course the kids were going to say yes to meeting her when he asked - just as they might say no to you, if you asked them if they wanted to. How they truly feel is another matter, but I expect your H is putting his needs before theirs, yet again. He's not allowing for the fact that they might feel hugely conflicted about meeting her and very uncomfortable. I bet you've allowed for the fact that they are naturally curious and like meeting new people generally in life. Also, I imagine they are polite children who understandably won't be hostile to her and he'll then pretend that they love her hmm

Now it's happened, all you can do is support them in what they want to do and to remove any conflicted loyalties they feel. Tell them it was okay to say yes to Daddy's request.

I think your H has been hugely insensitive to both you and his DCs, but all you can do is mitigate against any fall-out for the DCs here. If and when the time comes, arrange to be with people who love you and can make you smile, because it will be a horrible day for you. As it happens more frequently, try to turn it into an opportunity for you to have fun and do things you can't do when the DCs are around. Comfort yourself that you will be having the easier time of it too - I bet these two don't have the first clue about putting children's needs first......and might be quite unprepared for the er, delights of exuberant and messy children....wink

Really feel for you.

Melly19MummyToBe Wed 30-Mar-11 16:27:18

I was 8 when my dad left me and my sister and my mum, he moved straight in with the OW. A week or 2 later we met the bitchy witch. And as far as I'm aware my mum didn't have a clue about it. I remember telling my mum how embarrassed I was that my dad had picked me up from school with another woman and she told my dad and he apologised to me and didn't do it again with her. They split up after a while and my dad got with a new woman, my dad did the same again, picked me up from school with her, although I didn't mind then because by that time everyone at school knew my parents had split up. The new woman was lovely, and she is now my step mum and I now have an amazing 4 and a half year old sister. So in a way, my dad walking out on us has been better for all my family, my mum was devastated at first, but she worked through it and is now a very strong woman of whom I am very proud

I just thought I would tell you my experience of that sort of thing. I hope it doesn't make you feel any worse and I'm truely sorry if this has upset you in anyway shape or form. I really hope that everything works out for you.

welshbyrd Wed 30-Mar-11 16:27:38

Agreed massively with WWIFN, with regards to a huge lack of empathy for OP

I do not think your being unreasonable, asking your EX-P to wait, 3 months is not long enough together IMO

Great suggestion from another poster, with asking him, how would he feel if you just plonked a relatively new relationship on them
Do people not realise its stability these DCs need at the mo?

Ironwilledmama Wed 30-Mar-11 17:33:47

WWIFN - the voice of reason.
I have experienced this and personally, I think its too soon, for all of you and he sounds like a piece of work for mentioning it to your dc. However if you feel your children can deal with it and you are strong enough to deal with any issues during the initial period - I would allow it to happen sooner rather than later, because the anxiety you will feel over time waiting for it to happen, simply isn't worth it.
I built it up to be a much bigger deal than it turned out to be and quite honestly, I think for the ex and the ow, it wasn't quite as exciting as they had imagined.
My dd spends every other weekend with them both now, and barely mentions ex's partner (sometimes I ask if shes still there .
Much like ripping a plaster off quickly to get it over with, it's worth it. Without a doubt it's painful for you and unfair, but just allow it to strengthen you in knowing that a decent man wouldn't have and continue to, treat you like this.
Please ignore those saying it's not up to you, none of your business etc. I would imagine you are the only person on this earth right now with parental responsibility for your children, that does give you some rights. Take care of yourself as another poster said, it is indeed a rollercoaster.

Patienceobtainsallthings Wed 30-Mar-11 17:40:59

I would also apply this to myself ,it will be hard enough to see a bloke ,one or two days a week maybe due to childcare but i would only introduce a partner of mine to my kids if I thought it was serious.

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