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ExP taking DC on holiday to Spain with new Gf - wwyd?

(86 Posts)
OliviaMMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 22-May-13 21:19:10

Hello MNers,
I am posting on behalf of a RL friend so be frank but polite please:

Ex is planning to take the Primary age DC away in summer to Spain for a week, which I am very happy about, as they will have fun. My problem is that his girlfriend of 2 years is going. I have asked to meet her for the last two years. I have sent her message/ e mail, I have always been polite. She refuses to meet me. As a result of this I have refused to hand over the passports until I meet her. Am I doing the right thing?


OliviaMMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 25-May-13 00:06:53

Sorry not to update earlier
My friend was v grateful for help - she knows in her heart witholding the pps wasn't right.
Think she will push again as per the email suggestion and then just go with flow
Thanks again all.

RabbitFromAHat Fri 24-May-13 16:09:06

What is the meet up 'for' though?

If your friend doesn't like or approve of the new girlfriend, what difference does it make as long as her ex is a competent parent?

She WBU to even contemplate withholding passports.

simplesusan Fri 24-May-13 16:07:53

I can understand your friend and ideally all adults should have met.
However I really don't think she can withold the passports.

Dahlen Fri 24-May-13 15:49:14

In an ideal world this wouldn't even arise as an issue because everyone would behave maturely and have met a while ago. It's not at all unreasonable for the mum in this question to want to meet the GF.

However, neither is it at all unreasonable for the dad to want to take his DC away on holiday without needing permission from the mum about who he allows them to see on that holiday.

If the dad in question is a generally decent person who can be trusted to look out for his DC's welfare, I think the mum should trust his judgement and let the DC go without a fuss.

Just as an aside, has the mum in question asked herself if she's truly acting on the DC's best interests here or whether it's about what she feels. I'm not implying for a minute that this is about control or punishment, as I'm assuming after two years or more that any bad feeling has died down. I wonder instead if it's a case of subconsciously feeling that letting her DC go off with a woman she's never met is a reflection on her as a mum. Or wanting to meet the GF because the fact that it hasn't happened may lead people to judge her as being the stereotypical evil ex.

IF there's any of that going on, I'd point out that bar a full CRB check and extensive interviewing, one meeting is unlikely to reveal anything about the GF's suitability to take the DC away, the GF doesn't have responsibility for the DC on holiday, the dad does, and who cares what anyone else thinks anyway.

My advice to the mum would be to let them go. My advice to the dad would be FGS try to convince your GF to meet your DCs mum - it will make for far more harmonious relationships all round, particularly for the DC.

littlemissgiggles79 Fri 24-May-13 15:31:27

What if this lady gets a new bf or dh of her own. Presumably she will expect her EXH to accept another man living with and raising his children permanently and not just for a week.

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 24-May-13 15:03:23

Hi Olivia, how is your friend? Has she decided what she's going to do yet?

ticktocktammy Thu 23-May-13 16:07:06

sounds like shes jealous... might be best to grit teeth, smile and wish her DS a wonderful hols.
also if she refuses, child father can stop them going on holiday as (unless she has a residency order) she needs his permission. might be better not to start a tit-for-tat fight the main outcome of which will be to stop DS having jolly holidays
btw is there are reason why shes refused to meet her though? seems a bit extreme too. is there a problem between them (sorry is somewhere else in thread)

Dadthelion Thu 23-May-13 08:31:00

Is it in the children's best interests to stop them going on holiday?

Would it be ok for your friends ex to insist on meeting future partners?
And to cause problems if it's not allowed?

In my eyes withholding passports and threatening to stop children from going on holiday for a week (a week not forever!) is abusive behavior.

Fragglewump Thu 23-May-13 07:26:51

Well if you have children and then split up you will have to deal with situations like this and many more tricky ones....I still struggle with some things nearly 8 years on. Sadly your friend is being a control freak albeit understandable as we mums can be slightly tigress like when it comes to our dcs. My exDh got to the point where it was a little embarrassing as the kids had met a few girlfriends. I.e. daddy do you remember that girl who came to Spain with us what was her name? And then abi was with us when we had a puncture wasn't she? Etc. personally I would be pleased that a gf of 2 years is a stable influence in my dcs life and swallow my need to control, buy them something nice to take on their hols and line up loads of fun for myself while they are away! That's the most important bit IMO! It's also worth remembering that it will be much more scarey for new gf to meet you than the other way around as he had chosen to have children and build a life with you and not her yet. Try to be a decent grown up - my dcs would be heartbroken if I held their passports hostage and stopped them going on holiday. So I just wouldn't bother!

Facepalmninja Thu 23-May-13 07:16:49

Hi Olivia, your friend needs to step back and take a long hard look at why she is feeling like she does. She has no control over anyone else apart from herself. If there I'd a child protection issue then that would be an entirely different kettle of fish, as it is its her childrens father with his steady girl friend. She should be happy that her dc will have a lovely time with two adults looking out for them!

I really can't believe that people think that they are entitled to dictate who their children are with when they are with the other parent, especially if that other parent is in a 'new' relationship. Getting furious because ones ex has moved on is one thing (although its best to keep that a private emotion, it is nothing to do with him iykwim), trying to control him is quite another!

I do empathise with the situation, it's such a hard one, if it were my friend I'd be nodding (acknowledging her feelings) and hugging her but if she wanted my opinion I would be saying just what I have....and probably say to her to make sure that she can phone her dc everyday (not just before bed time though) whilst her dc are away and to have lots of 'me' time for her set up, meals out with friends, nice long quiet walks or even a mini trip away.
But keeping hold of passports in this instance is just mean and churlish.

MirandaWest Thu 23-May-13 07:15:39

My XH has a gf of three years now. The DC have met her and her DC lots of times whereas I haven't. I presume we will meet one day but if XH, his gf and the DC were to go away together I wouldn't insist on meeting her as I trust XH to have found a reasonable adult to go out with and also the DC at 9 and 7 like her and are happy with her.

There would be a problem with passports as they don't have any at the moment so I think I'd ask him to pay half but apart from that tbh it isn't really up to me to meet her I don't think.

Lweji Thu 23-May-13 07:12:35

I'd suggest that people with such control issues go on the holiday themselves, armed with binoculars and some hidden microphones.

If the holiday is such an issue, then maybe this friend should withhold contact, as she is so worried about some other woman being alone with the children, because it's likely that she has already been.
What if the father hires a nanny to watch over the children for a few hours?
What if he books them to a class?
Do they need to be vetted too?

Lweji Thu 23-May-13 07:01:30

So, Bogey, you wouldn't allow your mother or exMIL to have the children for a while?

Who says this woman tries to be the children's mother?
She's not.
She'll just be a person who may be in charge of the children for some periods (say exH is in the shower, or goes out).


Other women will be in exH's lives as other men may be in ours (female pps smile ). We don't have to scrutinise them.

Spero Wed 22-May-13 23:08:54

Good point about him being honest - my ex spent a weekend with our then 4 year old and his girlfriend of just three months, only six months after we separated. He didn't even tell me he was in a relationship.

I was angry, not because I wanted to vet her but because my daughter came back talking about 'daddy's friend who stayed the night' and it would have helped to have prior warning as daughter was confused and I didn't know what was going on.

AndTheBandPlayedOn Wed 22-May-13 23:07:25

It is an interesting question, Purple, would the friend then check hotel availability and book her own holiday to Spain, just to keep an eye out for the dc?

As hard as it must be, Olivia, imho, your friend should just box up her emotional turmoil over this and incinerate it...then give the dc new cameras with mahoosive memory cards so they can photograph/record every aspect of their fabulous adventure. Anything inappropriate may "accidentally" be put on record wink.

ivykaty44 Wed 22-May-13 23:03:29

Th ex is honest - for that your dear friend should be grateful, as a lot of men would have just not told her that the girl friend was going and tbh I bet now that this mum is withholding the passports the ex wishes to goodness he had lied

Yes the dc may have well let the cat out of the bag after the holiday, but it would have been to late then.

She should thank her lucky stars she has an honest ex, many many ex's tell big fat whopping lies all the time, he may tell fibs but this he has been honest about but is unlikely to be honest in the furture if she carrys on with this in this way.

My ex told me that I couldn't take my dd's away on holiday with my boyfriend before he had met him, I kindly explained to him in a very snide voice that as my boyfriend was crb checked he didn't need to meet him and if we were going to start meeting people that spent time with our dc I would need a list each and every week of the people he was going to be near with our dc - he fucked off and never said anything quite so stupid again grin And he was only trying to play the controlling card as he wanted to be nosey and make my bf feel small by inspecting him and giving him the once over

scripsi Wed 22-May-13 22:51:04

I agree that she may not like it (and it is difficult) but she can't really do much to force a meeting. In any event a forced meeting may not be a very constructive or positive atmosphere! If she hates the girlfriend on sight she can't do much in any event.
Also this is absolutely not a new relationship. In the OP you say that they have been together for two years. In that time hasn't the girlfriend been around the children? If she has, have the children given any reason to doubt that she should be around them?

Geeklover Wed 22-May-13 22:49:36

I can totally understand her gut reaction of wanting to meet the gf but I also don't think she has a right to.
For me I would stop myself (although my ex is married to someone else now) because it would be leaving me open to demands from my ex with regard to who the dc spend time with when in my care. He can barely contain himself as it is if he hears someone in the background when he phones the dc never mind if I'd pit myself in the position of making those demands so giving him the same rights back.
If there are no issues with the father caring for the dc on holiday I'm afraid she's just got to hand over the passports and deal with it.

postmanpatscat Wed 22-May-13 22:49:17

My DP has a 4yo DD. I have known DD for two years, have known DP for 2.5 years and we live together. I have never met the child's mother and have no plans to do so. We live over 250 miles away from her and the child's home. The child spends 50% of school holidays at our home and this summer that means she will spend two weeks being cared for by me while DP is at work as we have no alternative due to the court order.

His ex might not like it, but at least she accepts that she has no choice. Although it is not part of the court order, DP does let her know if we are away from home with their DD. She also speaks to her mum on the phone almost every night.

If I was the father in the situation given, I would take this to court and would be certain to win. DP's ex was told in no uncertain terms that she could not control who the child was in contact with when in DP's care. After all, they both have parental responsibility and the same applies to him!

Booyhoo Wed 22-May-13 22:48:50

"she is an adult yes but we ask everyone in our Talk Guidelines "We'd appreciate it if you could use the same courtesy when posting messages on Talk as you would use when speaking to someone face to face. Please do bear in mind how difficult this parenting business can be, and if there's one thing all of us could do with, it's some moral support.""

well yes, that's kind of my point. why did you feel the need to give extra warning that we should be polite? everyone knows the talk guidelines. i'm not sure why it needed to be re-inforced just because it was your friend or a newbie? we're all adults and quite capable of deciding for ourselves how to respond to any particular post. if someone is rude then yes, by all means remind them of the rules but it seems a bit 'teacher has spoken' when you put it in the OP.

PurpleThing Wed 22-May-13 22:41:30

And if she does meet her? And her instincts told her No? What then? Would she want her ex to have the right to veto her partner?

It is very hard but you have to let go a little.

OliviaMMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 22-May-13 22:40:25


I'm not sure her non-MN-ing will change, given that the general consensus is that SIBVU!

Well this isn't AIBU though, is it?!

In answer to the other question regarding treating newbies with kid gloves, , she is an adult yes but we ask everyone in our Talk Guidelines "We'd appreciate it if you could use the same courtesy when posting messages on Talk as you would use when speaking to someone face to face. Please do bear in mind how difficult this parenting business can be, and if there's one thing all of us could do with, it's some moral support."

Hope this clears that one up.

Feelslikea1sttimer Wed 22-May-13 22:36:56

I have just been to court this week to get a court order to order the passport office to cancel and issue new passports, which have cost me £200 for the court order, and £46 each for 2 children's passports because my ex was withholding them because he has had contact stopped (again by the courts) my children have turned round and said they will never forgive their dad for trying to stop their holiday and upsetting me (they overheard me being a little hysterical on the phone!)

The courts will do what is right by the children and not the parents so I would suggest handing them over is the best option as the children will have a lovely time and if you trust the other parent then you should trust their judgement on who they spend time with.

Spero Wed 22-May-13 22:35:12

I don't think anyone has been rude. Or nasty. Bit she needs to know as this kind of behaviour is potentially opening up a world of hurt for her, including her children resenting her and her ex being furious.

Sadly, people don't always do the right or kind thing but you have to let it go, unless you are prepared to argue yo don't trust their dad to keep hem safe on holiday.

TravelinColour Wed 22-May-13 22:34:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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