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Need advice re: stbxh introducing new partner to children, who is also the OW

(41 Posts)
TroublesomeEx Thu 03-Oct-13 06:51:10

I've NCd for this, I've recently directed someone else here and this would make me identifiable.

We have 2 children: 15 and 7. He wants the children to meet her. Now DS has met her very briefly and after doing so said "Well she seemed like a nice young lady".

Stbxh was overjoyed and told me that it was wonderful that DS had like her and waxed lyrical about how well they'd got on. I thought it an odd turn of phrase for a teenage boy to use about a woman in her 30s.

I was right. DS said he had been polite for his dad's sake and that there had been nothing 'wrong' with her, as such, but because of the way they got together, he has no respect for her at all. He doesn't want to see her.

Yesterday I had an email from him saying that he wants her to start being involved in their lives. They don't live together.

He is just being an absolute idiot. His reasons for the children needing to meet her are:

They will like to see him happy and in love because "it's good for children to see their parents are happy and in a loving relationship"

There is always an intrinsic benefit to meeting new people.

She has CRB clearance.

It will be good for them to have fun with someone else and have someone else to take family photos with.

I said to him that it might be meeting his needs to have the children meet her, but it isn't meeting theirs. DS doesn't want to have anything to do with her, but he is accusing me of criticising the OW to him. I haven't. DS is 15 and capable of making up his own mind! However, he's wary about telling his dad he doesn't want to see her because if he rejects one of his dad's suggestions of this nature then his dad just sits there in silence looking glum until DS feels guilty and says something along the lines of: "well um, I mean, I suppose it won't be that bad..." and then his dad perks up. I've been there and seen it for myself. It's all about him.

He had a breakdown after the impact of his affair, and spent the whole email saying "I'm depressed, you know how difficult things are for me, don't make this harder by standing in the way of my happiness" and issuing thinly veiled threats as to what he could do if I refused. And "I'm having 16 sessions of NHS funded CBT to help me deal with how I feel. That's the maximum they offer and they only give that if they think you are at risk..."

To me this suggests that he's not in the best place to be making big decisions anyway.

I work with children who've been damaged by just this sort of situation. But he refuses to consider that it might be anything other than "really lovely" for the children. and is convinced that seeing him happy and in love will offset any upset they might initially feel.

Is there anything I can say to make him see it from their perspective?

frogslegs35 Fri 04-Oct-13 07:15:38

He is a selfish delusional dickhead!

*"it's good for children to see their parents are happy and in a loving relationship"*
Maybe so but under healthy circumstances, NOT with a person responsible for causing their parents break up and causing their mum so much pain.

*She has CRB clearance* hmm
I wouldn't care if she'd been personally recommended by Mary feckin Poppins - she's NOT a nice person with normal morals nor does she have your DC's best interests at heart.

You've done the right thing in saying that they are 'allowed' to like her, that you won't be hurt etc.... However your eldest seems to know what he wants and if his Df keeps pushing forcing then it's his own fault if Ds decides not to see him.

Stepmooster Fri 04-Oct-13 00:14:11

OP, my DH had to cope with his ex having an affair, having to move out of his home (because all his ex's kids weren't his and he knew they all had to live together with mum) and be replaced next day by the OM. His boy was 7. He didn't get a choice and it stung like fuck for him. Completely unfair to his boy, DH would subconciously and probably not so subconciously pass on to his son how he felt about OM. He was banned from mentioning him. So not only did DSS have to cope with upheaval of situation, he also now had to consider dads feelings whilst trying to process his own.

Now some years later DH has moved on, apologised to DSS, told him its ok to like and even love OM his now stepdad and mums new husband.

DH never expected his ex's relationship to last, because most affairs rarely do, so his conduct in the beginning was not as it should have been.

If your ex and his OW do marry then she could be in your children's life for an awful long time.

You have a choice, try and encourage your children not to pick sides because of the affair and hopefully your dim ex realises his mistakes and improves his parenting and remains a permanent part of your children's life.

If your ex doesn't listen to his kids, or help them adapt to the relationship in their own time with your full support, then he only has himself to blame. And that's important, because he's not blaming you to your children and they won't be taking in those messages either.

sugarandspite Thu 03-Oct-13 22:38:29

Ahem OP - possible name change fail?

Think MN can sort it out for you if you report your post and explain.

redundantandbitter Thu 03-Oct-13 22:20:14

Least he is discussing it with you... My DCs came home one Sunday saying they had met their DDs girlfriend (complicated setup - we were seperated but still living together) .. I had asked him to Wait a bit longer but was ignored...Would have been nice NOT to have heard it from the dcs first.., but I have said that line before about other things... Expect I will say it again DP waited AGES (years) before I met his DCs on his EXWs say so... All fine by me. They didn't need me in their life... Just their DD. we certainly didn't do LOVED UP in front of them. Just sad that my DCs really enjoyed my DPs company and now he's upped and left. I said I would miss his DDs .. He never me mentioned mine. Thanks! Personally my DCS like their StepM but their father is their focus . It must be hard on your DCs ... Your DS sounds nice and sensible

TroublesomeEx Thu 03-Oct-13 21:52:15

But yes, I've said I think we should sit there together so that they children can see we are presenting a united front, but it's also so I can make sure that if the children say they want to meet her it's because they really said it, and not because he emotionally blackmailed them into it!

TroublesomeEx Thu 03-Oct-13 21:30:58

Sadly Albert the position we are in now is the one we have arrived at through discussing it together!

He wanted to introduce her straight away!

Albert27 Thu 03-Oct-13 20:55:05

I've not read all the posts - sorry iPhone on train home. Can you sit down together to discuss it so your DCs don't feel they have to please him and say what he wants to hear.

He sounds like a selfish teenager. And the OW should recognise she can only be part if their life when they are ready!!

TroublesomeEx Thu 03-Oct-13 20:38:22

Oh and I did tell him that the children didn't need to see him happy and in love. He told me he understood that I'd feel threatened by this.

No. Talking. To. Him.

TroublesomeEx Thu 03-Oct-13 19:55:07

I would ask to put it off for another month or two, but the original date suggested was an event he wanted them all to attend at the end of November.

He's now saying that's too far away and the beginning of October is quite long enough sad

TroublesomeEx Thu 03-Oct-13 19:54:07

I'll not ever introduce her to my DS, because she's just not good enough a person for him to know.

I want him to meet good people, not ones who treat me like shit and show him that they think that's acceptable.

I think that sums up how I feel, tbh. It's not that I never want them to meet a new girlfriend, but how can anyone who has shown such little regard for them and their family possibly have anything positive to offer to them.

She doesn't deserve to sit in the same room or breathe the same air as them, frankly!

tessa6 Thu 03-Oct-13 19:28:18

At least six months is a good guideline. I'm sorry you are so hurt and he is so seemingly uninterested in your pain and their well-being.

I think you might have to accept at some point that your children are going to be totally aware of how hurt and angry you are and were about his deception and break up, and want to portray themselves as loyal to you.

The greatest pain I have observed in a child was in my sister's stepdaughter, who would come over to hers at the weekend to be with her dad, my sister and her kids. She would have a good time, as a young child, and then return to her mother to say she hated it and hated having to spend time with them. She knew she wanted to be on her mother's 'side' in all this, and she thought the greatest pain would be if her mum felt they had built a new family without her.

The split she had to enact psychologically, trying to keep everyone happy was way too much responsiblity for her. And I don't think you can discount an element of something similar here. Of course they are going to feel that way about OW, but they are going to feel that way partly because of the way that you feel.

I would suggest asking politely to put it off for another month or too. but since that does not seem to be an option, and you have no control over it, the real horrible truth is that the best thing you could do for your children, is to be or fake happiness and nonchalance regarding the new situation so that they do not need to feel they have to present a certain truth to you, or feel guilty and shamed if on occasion they do have a good time. Neither you nor your ex will get the full truth from them. Only their friends and siblings probably truly know what they feel, and that may change. It is a credit to you as a mother that they can talk to you anyway about it and that they want to stand up for you and take your feelings into account.

Hissy Thu 03-Oct-13 19:26:22

She being the OW.

I'll not ever introduce her to my DS, because she's just not good enough a person for him to know.

I want him to meet good people, not ones who treat me like shit and show him that they think that's acceptable.

clam Thu 03-Oct-13 19:26:00

Why don't you tell him that it's not "all about him" and that, frankly, none of you gives a flying fuck whether he's happy, settled and 'in love.'

Oh, and what hissy said about CRB checks.


Hissy Thu 03-Oct-13 19:24:53

My dad cheated on my mum, 18m.

She Always was a bitch to his kids, and he let her be.

I have no contact with any of them, and it's been 20 years. Would/do I forgive him?

No. Nothing he ever could do makes up for what he did, and continues to do by letting her be a bitch.

Hissy Thu 03-Oct-13 19:17:41

I think if this guy trots out the fecking CRB again, calmly point out that Jimmy Bastard Savile would have passed/had a CRB cert, as would Harold Fecking Shipman.

Not having a CRB is no indication that someone is a bad/morally bankrupt/deceptive cow, but fucking a married man sure is!

temporarilyjerry Thu 03-Oct-13 19:09:57

Your STBex sounds like he has the emotional intelligence of a dead haddock.

^^ this

He's not good enough an example for a young man(men) to learn from.

^^ and this

He is a dick, isn't he?!

^^ and this

TroublesomeEx Thu 03-Oct-13 17:34:43

He is a dick, isn't he?!

TroublesomeEx Thu 03-Oct-13 17:34:32

That's the thing, FB, he can't see that the children won't want to see him all loved up with someone else.

I really think he thinks the children will forgive and forget the angst and heartbreak he has caused if they see him in love with someone else. Like they will think that it must have been worth it.

The other thing that he keeps saying that grates is that they have no intentions of pushing me out or trying to replace me with the OW. "You will always be their mother" he reassuringly told me... hmm

MsBlouseyBrown Thu 03-Oct-13 15:46:39

grin at the CRB comment. I have an enhanced CRB, so can I take your children away for a weeks holiday, op. I mean, it will surely be beneficial for them, no? He is bonkers.

I hope your dc do what my ds does and dig their heels in. They shouldn't be cajoled into doing something they don't want to. Your ex is being very selfish.

FrancescaBell Thu 03-Oct-13 13:34:50

Lordy, this man sounds like a whiny-arsed, self-absorbed twunt...

I don't think adults always understand how differently kids feel when their parents' marriage has broken up because of an affair. I also think some adults attribute very adult emotions like altruism to children, when fact is most kids are selfish and put their own happiness and comfort first. That's normal isn't it?

So any buffoon who thinks a 15 year old and a 7 year old are altruistic enough to want to spend time with people they don't actively like because of the warm glow of seeing dad happy, needs his head testing.

To be honest, it doesn't matter what your ex thinks, or what his new partner thinks. They'd probably accuse you of being the bitter, vengeful ex-wife what ever you did or said.

Your priority is your children and you.

As others have said, you can't control who the children meet when he's with them, but you do need to support your children's rights to spend their time as they wish and for them not to be manipulated or pressurised into situations that make them uncomfortable or unhappy.

So maybe try an 'all-bases-covered' approach where you try to reason with your ex and at the same time, support the kids in telling their dad what they want to do and who they want to spend time with, when they see him?

IME, most kids want the NRP to themselves in the early months or years. They certainly don't want to see Love's Young dream being enacted before their eyes.

TroublesomeEx Thu 03-Oct-13 12:57:27

Hi I only have 5 mins so I'm going to be quick!

Annie the CRB is, I think, because it 'proves' she isn't a bad person - in his head. I should be satisfied that she will act in their best interests because she's never been convicted on an offence that suggests otherwise.

lunar we have no family. My children have me, my brother and his wife and child, we lost both of my parents last year. They were both only children so no aunts/uncles/cousins on my side. I think he's having a little dig at me by suggesting they 'need' her.

changed that's my overriding feeling.

heidi that's really good to read and I get what you mean about her possibly being a positive influence in that respect. If that is the case, then that would be great. Unfortunately we had a bit of an issue at the start of this week when he emailed to tell me she would be attending the same social activity/hobby/group that I go to hmm. She couldn't see why she shouldn't go or why it might not be appropriate for her to go. Apparently they had a 'huge row' because even he could see that wasn't entirely appropriate and told her not to go. She was defiant. She didn't go in the end, but it was only after a 'long discussion' that she agreed to not go at all (and take several of her friends with her)

So she's clearly not a particularly nice person...

Anniegetyourgun Thu 03-Oct-13 11:01:11

Excuse the tangent but... what the fuck has a CRB check got to do with anything? You never suspected her of being an axe murderer. You just said the children don't feel ready to play happy families with their dad and the woman he left their mum for . Adultery isn't a crime, but that doesn't mean it causes no emotional fallout.

Your ex seems to have some difficulty at the moment in seeing his children as independent sentient beings who might possibly have different views to himself. If he is in a genuinely fragile state it may be that he has to hold onto the belief that he is doing the right thing, because he can't deal with the possibility that he isn't. Understandable maybe; but no easier on the children, at this point, if he's behaving like a selfish fuckwit rather than actually being one.

lunar1 Thu 03-Oct-13 10:48:13

Not helpful I know but the comment about having someone else to take family photos with would have me ready to throw him in the bonfire.

In what way does he think an OW is family to your children!

Changednameforthistoday Thu 03-Oct-13 10:38:30

ALso, they broke up, then got back together. He should wait until he know the relationship is stable before introducing DC's.

Changednameforthistoday Thu 03-Oct-13 10:35:45

I know this probably goes against what people think is right but tbh, if the OW was instrumental in breaking up the family home then she didn't have your DC's best interests at heart, just like your stbexH. Why should they get to chose the timings. They don't deserve that right. For me, it goes against the grain. It is completely different meeting a new partner that got with stbexH after the split than the affair OW.

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