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Should I listen to ex re introducing DC to new DP?

(39 Posts)
TrappedInThePast01 Wed 12-Nov-14 11:26:31

I've posted about this before in chat but there has been a development since.

I am planning on introducing my DP to my DC in the near future. I mentioned this to STBXH who basically said no way, as I predicted. He was EA during our 12 year relationship and also a serial cheat. We separated following his 8th affair. Since then he's continued to be controlling and unpleasant and just generally difficult to deal with.

After I informed him about my intention to introduce the DC to DP, he came back to me to say that he wanted me to wait until after our divorce is through. I'm not sure why this matters to him. He then said to wait until after Xmas.

Thing is, I'm not sure what to do now. If he was reasonable and I trusted his reasons for wanting me to wait, then I'd have no problem with going along with his wishes. However, because he is the way he is, I'm worried that this is just another attempt at control and by listening to him, I'm encouraging his belief that he still has some say in the way I conduct my life (he has opinions on everything I do and is highly critical under the guise that it is his business as he is concerned about the DCs welfare, even where what he is criticising me for has nothing to do with the DC). Part of the problem is that we are incapable of having a rational and reasonable discussion about this because he is always right no matter what I say.

Added to this, his sister (whom I have always gotten on well with but haven't seen for quite a while) has got in touch asking me to meet with her to discuss ex. She is concerned that recent events (I assume me wanting to let DC meet DP) will make ex 'blow'. She is saying she is trying to 'talk sense into him' but I have the feeling she is going to ask me to delay the meeting and maybe some other stuff that I know ex is annoyed at me for (but which IMO are minutiae). I understand that she has ex's interests at heart but equally she must realise she only has his half of the story and he is prone to a bit of creative twisting. Should I meet up with her do you think?

And what to do about ex? Should I listen to him on this matter? I am happy for my DC to meet DP, in fact, my eldest from a previous relationship already has and they get on great. Other DC are also keen to meet him after brief phone calls etc. I'd really appreciate any advice as I feel really stuck and confused. TIA.

FeckTheMagicDragon Wed 12-Nov-14 12:08:33

Just for background - how long have you been dating? And how long have the DC been aware of you dating? Your prime concern must be how the DC are going to react, not you X, but the fallout may impact their relationship with your new DP. Even though it's fuck all to do with him, if he is EA he may start questioning them, dropping bits of poison and colouring their reactions. Which may ultimately impact their relationship with someone who could potentially be their step father.

I'd build up contact slowly, let him be come an ordinary part of their day to day lives - but possibly leave them meeting him till after Christmas. Even if it makes life a bit difficult for you short term.

FeckTheMagicDragon Wed 12-Nov-14 12:13:24

Oh and stop telling him stuff. A smile and a gentle 'I'm afraid that's none of your business anymore' and repeat. Meet the sister by all means, but don't agree to anything, and don't give too much personal information away. 'I'll have a think about it'. 'That's personal/private' 'I'll talk to my DP about it'

TrappedInThePast01 Wed 12-Nov-14 12:18:36

Unfortunately this has already started happening Magic. It was ex that made DC aware of 'mummy's new boyfriend' and according to them he's said things like he's all I care about, he's a bad man etc. although ex of course denies this. I feel like now is a good time for them all to meet and my DC are really excited about it so my other concern is that if I leave it longer and give more time for ex to drip poison, then they will go off the idea.

I have also already met DP's son who is keen to meet my DC so all this needs to be factored in. It's such a difficult decision. I only let ex know that it was going to happen out of courtesy to him but now I'm having to consider his request for me to wait until a time that he considers suitable.

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Wed 12-Nov-14 12:22:29

I think it depends on the timescales. If it's less than a year or so since you split, then it think it's reasonable for him to want you to wait. But if course he can't force you.

I do think it's really important for children to have lots of time to adjust to a split before new partners are involved.

TrappedInThePast01 Wed 12-Nov-14 12:27:47

We've been separated for well over a year now. Honestly, I think I could have been single a whole decade and ex would still have a problem with this.

Thing is, I actually do feel a certain level of sympathy for him because I understand it must be hard to accept that a new man will be involved in his DC's lives. But I can't use this as a reason to never move on.

My primary objective is ensuring that I handle all this in a way that is best for the DC. Problem is, ex is either unable or unwilling to trust me to do this in the way that I think is right.

FluffyMcnuffy Wed 12-Nov-14 12:36:54

How long have you been with your DP?

TrappedInThePast01 Wed 12-Nov-14 12:42:32

Six months Fluffy.

Rebecca2014 Wed 12-Nov-14 13:04:46

Well maybe he if he wasn't EA and had constant affairs he wouldn't be having another man meet his child. I would feel no sympathy for a man like that.

Do not let your ex control you, he has no right. If you want your son to meet your new partner, then let it happen. Fuck your ex.

googoodolly Wed 12-Nov-14 13:10:52

I think six months is a bit soon to be introducing partners to young children, sorry.

Chaseface Wed 12-Nov-14 13:10:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sidge Wed 12-Nov-14 13:19:16

I think six months is not too soon at all. We're talking about the OPs children meeting her boyfriend, not helping him move in.

If the children are of an age to be aware that mum has a new friend, mum is not with dad any more, then it is not unreasonable to introduce another adult as a friend and spend time together in a neutral, non-threatening environment.

Very different to a stream of men passing through but it doesn't seem that's the case here.

holdyourown Wed 12-Nov-14 13:26:30

I thought 6 months is standard MN approved length of time for introducing new partners tbh confused

TrappedInThePast01 Wed 12-Nov-14 13:30:35

See this is why I was reluctant to mention how long I'd been with DP as I know opinion is fiercely divided over when is the 'right' time to introduce a new partner to DC. Ultimately I do feel like now is the right time for a variety of reasons.

My real issue is whether I do the introductions at a time when I think is right or listen to ex and risk him further feeling like he has control over me.

Incidentally, I harbour no anger towards ex for the way he treated me during our relationship, I am 100% over it. I feel a certain level of annoyance at him for constantly commenting and picking at me over everything I do but the issue over when to do the introductions is totally separate from that. Bizarrely, he actually thinks that I'm only doing this to 'get back at him' and provoke him into a reaction. DP has offered to meet ex to put his mind at rest that he is a good person but ex has said he doesn't think he will be able to restrain himself from doing something stupid like hurting DP. Of course ex also believes that this us me trying to 'set him up' so I can get him out if the picture (he has a criminal record for violence and will likely get a custodial sentence next time he has a fight).

If it was up to me, I'd be doing the introductions soonish but I guess I still deep down would like to co parent with ex amicably (even though I know this is very unlikely to be possible given the fact that he is EA) and a part of me believes him that if I listen to him over this, he will be more inclined to be reasonable with me.

MimiSunshine Wed 12-Nov-14 13:48:42

6 months is fine. I assume it will be kept casual and your new BF wont suddenly appear on all family outings from that point onwards?

Your ex IS trying to control you as you know, he is using the kids as an excuse as you recognise he's done in the past.
The only important people here are your kids and they want to meet your BF so why do their wishes get ignored in favour of your ex's?

Don't mention it to him again and arrange to make plans for the meet up (without your BF's child, that should happen separately). Meet your ex's sister and don't get drawn into making arrangements to suit your ex or to avoid him 'blowing up' its just a control tactic.

TrappedInThePast01 Wed 12-Nov-14 13:59:50

Actually, I hasn't thought about it from the POV that I am ignoring DC's wishes Sunshine. But that is a good point.

Ideally I would have liked to introduce him as a friend first and build it up slowly from there but obviously this isn't possible since ex has been quite open with the SC about my life. DP and I have discussed how to handle the introductions and have agreed to keep it casual and build things slowly. We both appreciate that it's important for us to still spend time alone with out respective DCs even after they've all met.

Thinking about it more, I wonder if ex is struggling a bit since this is further confirmation that we are permanently over. He has at times gone through phases of begging me back and I wonder if he harboured hopes that my new relationship would fail. I say this because he was inordinately upset/angry at the news that I'd met DP's DC in what ex termed 'playing happy families'.

TrappedInThePast01 Wed 12-Nov-14 14:00:48

Time alone with our respective DCs.

Lweji Wed 12-Nov-14 14:04:10

I'll just tell you what I say to women here who ask about their ex's partners.

It's not his bloody business.
It's your decision to make in relation to your children and your personal life.

Your children meet lots of different people in their lives. Why not your new partner?
It is up to you, then, how much he will be in their lives.

lunar1 Wed 12-Nov-14 14:09:53

Taking your ex out of the equation I honestly think it's too soon. I'd keep you relationship separate from your children. I wish I'd never been introduced to a series of partners.

strawberryshoes Wed 12-Nov-14 14:12:27

Going from the stand point that you have your kids best interests at heart:

You want you kids to meet him

He wants to meet your kids

Your kids want to meet him

Your controlling ex who wants you back and is feeding the kids poison about him, does not.

Should you listen to your ex? No.

kentishgirl Wed 12-Nov-14 14:14:37

I think 6 months is fine as a timescale.

I also think you should be very wary of giving ex this power over you. He is controlling you by threatening violence to your new DP just for existing, and you are afraid of his reaction if you introduce the children. this is abusive behaviour and you no longer have to be cowed by it.

Introduce the children. You are not responsible for your ex's reaction to this. If he get violent, makes threats in any way (in person, by phone, by text etc) call the police.

MimiSunshine Wed 12-Nov-14 14:16:12

So you would have kept them in the dark and slowly introduced your BF into their lives.
You ex chooses to tell them about your BF (seriously limit what he knows about your personal life from now on) but then decides its too soon for them to meet.

He just wants you to dance to his tune and I can almost guarantee he wouldn't let you determine things if it was the other way around.

cerealqueen Wed 12-Nov-14 14:19:25

OP asked should she listen to her ex on this matter, not should she listen to mumsnet about whether to introduce new a DP!

Do not listen to your ex, do what is best for you and DC. Given he has already met one then makes sense they all meet him.

Sassyb0703 Wed 12-Nov-14 14:21:49

As someone who was a 'new partner' and had my own DC's I think you should listen to your children's wishes and introduce your new DP as soon as possible. You have a life to live and your children want to meet him and quite frankly its none of your ex's business what you do with your children in your time. Equally I assume he wouldn't even think about asking your permission if he wanted to introduce a new partner let alone waiting 6months ! Please stop letting him dictate your life, you are separated now going through a divorce. My suggestion would be to keep all communications with him to a minimum ideally through email. Just as an aside - if he went to court to ask you be prevented from introducing via prohibited steps order he wouldn't be given the time of day. Hope all goes well.

WannaBe Wed 12-Nov-14 14:38:58

bloody hell there's a lot of projection going on on this thread already. The op has been in an abusive relationship which makes her have a history of poor judgement and introducing a child to partner after six months means there's going to be a series of partners? WTAF? hmm

The fact is that you could introduce the kids to your dp after two/three years and that doesn't guarantee the relationship will last or you could introduce them on a first date and you might all live happily ever after. time guarantees nothing.

Op the reality is that your children already know this bf exists and as such your ex is already back in control. Given they know he exists there is no reason not to introduce them. It's none of your ex's business, and he should think himself lucky you even mentioned the fact you have a new dp to him. If you don't introduce them now they will likely want to know why not, and your ex sounds capable of coming up with some poison "mummy wants him all to herself because she loves him more than you," to cover that. Take back control.

Fwiw my ex had the opposite reaction - he engineered a meeting between my ds and my dp of then just six weeks, and then gave me an ultimatum - either I tell my ds I have a new bf or he would, so he left me no choice. I was nowhere near ready to introduce them at that stage but the decision was taken away from me. But as it happens ds and dp got on fantastically and we are still together eighteen months on so it worked out well. It could easily not have though.

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