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Ex sleeping with his GF in the same room as DS - worried(25 Posts)
NC for this as I've been posting a lot recently under my usual name and don't want to out myself.
I'm worried about a situation with exp and ds: essentially what it says in my thread title.
DS has a sleepover once a week with my ex. Ex is short on space at the moment and has moved DS's bed into his bedroom. Fine for just the two of them, but DS says his dad's GF is sleeping in there as well (DS in a single bed, ex and GF in the double. It's not a huge room either.) Obviously I don't know if they're having sex in the same room and it's not something I can ask. But I'm v.concerned nonetheless. Ex has a problem with boundaries shall we say. He lets ds watch films and play computer games I don't approve of, doesn't curb his language around him, tells him what I think are inappropriate stories/discusses adult issues with him without 'rewording' them in a way (I would think would be) appropriate for a child.
DS is 9.
My ex was EA to quite a massive extent, I posted a big list of stuff about him on the red flags thread and even I was shocked to read it back We've got a difficult relationship, I don't like him and he makes me nervous. We're civil atm but I like to keep my distance.
We had an incident recently with DS and a family member of similar age who came for a sleepover at mine. I put them in a double bed and on hearing voices I went to listen at the door to find that DS was encouraging the other child to take his clothes off and for them to rub their penises together. I was fuming, separated them for the night and told the other child's mum what had happened the next day. When I'd calmed down I had a sit-down talk with DS about sexual feelings being natural but something for adults, that private parts are private, that he shouldn't be trying to touch anyone else or asking someone to touch him, etc.
Ex said at the time it's just what boys do and I was overreacting.
I thought DS had taken my point but he went into school that week and made sexual comments to a girl in his class and I was spoken to by the teacher. I reiterated my talk with DS and said that sexual behaviour and comments to others were inappropriate, again that they were private, adult matters.
Nothing's happened since with DS but due to the above and DS saying that his dad and GF are sleeping together in the same room, I'm worried again and not sure what I should be doing. My main concern given ex's lack of boundaries is that he and gf are having sex in the same room or at least sexual contact and that DS might be (or become) aware of this. Whereas I'd say it was obviously highly inappropriate behaviour to most people I'm not sure ex falls into the bracket of 'most people'. (Nothing personal against his gf but she is a lot younger than him and not too bright herself, from what I know of her.)
Ex is antagonistic by default and won't take kindly to me raising the issue, there's literally no easy way I can broach it. I'm thinking of saying that DS can't sleep over unless/until he gets his own room back. What I want to say is that he (ex) has six days in the week to sleep with his girlfriend (they don't live together) and I don't have a clue why he can't keep one night special for just him and his son to have their quality time. His reply to that will be that I'm "controlling", trying to stop him seeing his son etc, all stuff I've heard a million times before.
Do you think I'm overreacting/worrying about nothing, and if not, what should I do?
I think, given the history, you're not overreacting. The main focus is always 'what's best for the child' and if your DS is uncomfortable with the sleeping arrangements, that's grounds enough to stop overnight visits until it can be fixed.
Your Ex sounds like a total twat. I would be saying 'No more sleep overs until DS has his own room or unless the GF isn't staying over'. If he doesn't like it, tell him to take you (back) to court.
DS isn't uncomfortable with the arrangement but that's kind of how kids are, isn't it? They just accept the things their parents do as normal. DS of course idolises his father which doesn't make things any easier for me. In fact I'm constantly battling against the things ex normalises. Things that I've been unhappy about in the past, ex has said to ds "don't worry about it, we'll do it anyway, just don't tell your mother." I've called him out on this before and I get a moody sulk in return and no apology.
I would stop the sleepovers, and have no concern about any fallout from that
If you're concerned about his safety and emotional well being then the only thing you can do is stop overnight visits until he has more space. I think you are justified in doing so.
Have you considered mediation? Another poster has been attending with her ex to discuss contact issues and it seemed like it was helpful (from what I read).
This would give the mediators the opportunity to clarify that it's generally inappropriate for a 9yo kid to share a room with a couple and perhaps your ex needs to rearrange his living arrangements. Then he has to sit there and explain to the neutral 3rd parties the whats and whys, not just dismiss and be rude to you.
Thanks for replies.
Yes mediation would probably be good for us however we've always just muddled through on our own, we don't have any court orders or official contact arrangements in place. Basically ex does his own thing and fits DS in around his various hobbies. TBH it's been a bad couple of years and things have only recently reached equilibrium. Ex has no compunction about speaking badly about me in front of DS and I know that broaching this subject will not only get me a load of verbal abuse about how I'm a neurotic control freak but will also get comments to DS about how "Mummy says you're not allowed to sleepover any more, Mummy makes us sad doesn't she."
get it all official-like
collaborative arrangements like this only work when both sides are actually collaborating
Does your ex have a sitting room? If so either DS or the couple can sleep in there.
Better still girlfriend doesn't stay that night, it's only one night a week
Do you still have a solicitor? I'd be asking for a formal letter to be sent to ex
AF is right. You haven't actually 'reached equilibrium' - you are tiptoeing round a situation which is giving rise to major concerns about your child's behaviour because you don't want to rock the boat. That's not equilibrium. I understand you've been through a difficult time with your X and no-one wants to be seen as 'the bad guy' but you need to put a stop to this.
I think mediation would perhaps give you the support you need and make it easier for you to sort this out.
We both think sleepovers with ex in same room should stop
Sometimes parents have to share a room with a child, think Travelodge, Premier Inn family room etc, but you do not have to have sex in front of the child.....
It is inappropriate if they are doing anything in the same room as him as he could be awake when they think he is asleep. Usually for children to become sexual it means that they have seen these things done.....
I have been to mediation with my STBXH and it has worked very well, in that it has made him realise that I was NOT being unreasonable about things, that everything I said/did was for the benefit of my DD.... It does cost, but if you are entitled to Legal Aid, then you may be entitled to free mediation. I would certainly look into it, and I would also discuss the matter with your Health Visitor, to get a professional opinion on the situation, that you can then use as backup.
Is ex aware of the two incidents involving ds at school and during sleep over? If not I'd make him aware as this might help him understand your concerns re this arrangement.
He sounds very obstinate and adamantly unreasonable. I would def stop overnight stays till this problem is resolved. Good luck
I think its highly inappropriate. I would never have done this with my SDCs when I was dating my husband, or now come to think of it. The GF must be barmy to be ok with this, she can't leave him for one night? Sounds like thats a great healthy relationship, not. I would stop overnight stays - he can take you to court if he's bothered. I really think you have been very nice and reasonable so far, probably too much. Have you considered speaking to WA or a counsellor about how much he still seems to control you / EA you?
I have spoken to WA in the past. I was hoping things had calmed down and ex is apparently on some sort of campaign of self-improvement (according to him) but still there's always something cropping up. We're just so not on the same page and while he will take on my views during the periods I'm being 'compliant' if he's pissed off with me for any reason he will deliberately do the opposite of what I consider to be proper course of action.
Yes he knows about the incidents with ds. He thought I overreacted by being angry at ds (I was angry in the first instance, because I could hear him pressurising the other child to do things the other child clearly wasn't happy with - I was in shock tbh. However I calmed down enough to have the necessary open and engaged chat with ds soon afterwards.) However he always says I am overreacting and controlling; I'm not really, it's just that ex does not engage in any sort of guidance or discipline. He wants to be the cool friend dad rather than a parent who parents.
Anyway I'm going off at a tangent here. I don't have a solicitor and never have (tried once but the (few) local practices offering legal aid weren't keen on taking it on; the last one I spoke to never even returned my calls. So I let it slide.) I'd like to be able to sort things out between the two of us but I know if I say anything about this ex will knee jerk and attack me. He will say I am trying to fuck up his contact, he will say I've got a problem with his girlfriend (I don't), etc etc. The whole thing will snowball and ironically the most likely outcome is that ex will continue his sleeping/sex arrangements and tell ds I'm treating him (ex) badly.
Sorry I know I'm being pathetic I'm just turning things over in my head to try and find some loophole by which I can address this without ds being told I'm the wicked witch of the west
I know it's not nice when someone says something mean about you to your child, but it's not the end of the world. What your ex might say to your son seems really important to you, and I know how infuriating the 'cool parent' thing can be, but... If X says 'mum is making us sad' you say to your son 'no, mum is trying to work out the best way for you to see your dad' and move the conversation on.
It sounds like you're scared that XP will be able to turn DS against you. That won't happen. He doesn't have that power - don't give it to him.
You're not pathetic. It's horrible and confusing. So please try to remember that this man is not your friend. Yes, he's DS's dad but that's it.
Can any of your friends recommend a solicitor? Even an aquaintance would probably be happy to do so. You don't need to furnish any details - just someone you know who's divorced recently.
Your ex is up and down and all over the place. You being the cool EW is not doing anyone, least if all your son, any favours
Go back and talk to WA, get their advice on solicitors. Also do discuss this sexualised behaviour by your son, it will already be recorded at school, it could just be a hormone surge or could be an indication of something else. You need proper advice ASAP.
You cannot tip toe around your ex (who is not even reasonable) for the rest of your boy's life in case he says a bad word about you to him
You know he is doing it anyway, no matter how much you
make a mug of yourself bend over backwards to not rock the boat
Stand up for yourself, that is a better example to your boy than a frightened mouse who goes along with things that are clearly wrong in order to keep an unreasonable man sweet
I am sure you are aware, OP, that your son actually pressurising another boy into sexualised play is actually very, very worrying. Normal consensual experimentation is one thing, but what you describe is something else entirely.
This may upset you, but IMO you are allowing your reluctance to rock the boat with your ex to influence your own feelings on the matter. You say your ex tried to pass it off as "just one of those normal parts of growing up" and it is. "Pressurising" is not, though.
Do you know that your ex is having sex in the same room as your son?
She doesn't know for sure, but she doesn't trust him not to
The outcome should be the same
Your are not over reacting. The sleep overs need to stop NOW. How are you going to explain this if social services get wind of the situation? If your DS makes another sexual comment at school there is a bloody good chance they will get involved via a referral from a teacher.
The way they will look at it is 'you were (possibly) aware of a situation where your son would be exposed to inappropriate sexual behaviour and did nothing to protect him'.
I don't want to seem like I'm being nasty, I do sympathise with how difficult a position you are in, but I also know how SS work and I want you to approach this with your eyes open.
She is only his girlfriend, not a live in partner. I would stop sleepovers unless he has his own room when the girlfriend is there. I'm surprised she is happy with the situation. It's fine on holidays for adults and kids to share a room, but not everyday, and not when she has her own house to go to. At the moment he just doesn't have enough room to have his son to stay.
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