Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Kids spending time with OW, and really like her. Struggling.(75 Posts)
She is the person he left me for.
They lied and cheated and hurt me beyond measure.
I found out via her ex boyfriend telling me.
And now they are playing happy families with MY kids.
The pain is something I could never prepare myself for.
This is the second family she has broken up (not saying it is all her fault - stbxh too), and those kids were hurt when she ran off with another man again.
My son (8) tells me she plays so nicely with my daughter, who is 3.
It breaks my heart.
My ex has told the children he left me because we were fighting so much, not for another person.
I think he has told so many people that, that even he believes it.
I so badly want to tell the kids that she is awful and she has hurt me, but that would be wrong, wouldn't it?
I should be grateful she is "being nice" to them, but how can I?
My ex is rude and bullying to me, and the kids see that and comment, but they love him 100%, of course they do. He is Disney dad.
Disney dad's are soon outed when children become adults. I'm so sorry to read your post though. Take care x
Practice saying "that's nice dear" to your son - through gritted teeth if necessary.
It's easy to be nice to kids at first, but when they're grizzly, naughty or when the novelty has worn off, that's when the real truth will be revealed.
However I do hope for your benefit that she remains being nice to them. It would be SO much worse if she was mean to them/ignored them.
So sorry this happened to you. It sounds dreadful . You are well rid and I hope the karma bus comes along soon.
Well that sucks doesn't it? BUT - the best outcome for your kids now is that their father is happy and is with somebody who is interested in them. She may have had appalling moral standards in the past but we don't know what will happen in the future. She may be in your kids lives for the next 50 years and yes that has hard to swallow but you need to do so because if you remain bitter and angry and disrupt that relationship you may make her a bit unhappy but the people who will be most hurt are the kids and that just can't be.
Somehow you need to remain cordial to them and be clear you will not tolerate ex's rudeness and bullying. The more dignified and gracious you are, the harder it will be for him to be an arse. Take the drama out of it, stick to the facts and be scrupulously fair about access etc. By doing this you give him less to get traction on to be a git with. If he persists nevertheless then you go down the solicitor route but still remain dignified and (outwardly) calm.
When your kids are grown up and have families of their own they will see their dad's behaviour in another light, and hers too, but they will still love him because he's their dad. You can't get away from that without damaging them terribly. So play the long game.
This must be intensely painful. I really do get it. You are incredibly aware of what you have to do - and will do. There are many here I am sure who similarly empathise.
As others have said, as they grow up, children know what's up. It does sound like a honeymoon period and you may well have to pick up the pieces at some point if she repeats history - and remember, it's not hard to woo nice kids for a period but it is much harder to sustain a healthy relationship with them over time without integrity.
I have been doing that. Trying to!
I don't say bad things about their father to them.
Sadly though, he says terrible things about me to them.
My lawyer has already written to him about this.
I do try and not react, but behind closed doors - to my friends, on Mumsnet - is where I vent.
I don't want to remain bitter, but it is so hard.
They are off playing happy families and I am by myself.
OW tried to befriend me to get closer to ex (they work together), and I knew something wasn't right.
He is a narcissist so expects me to be happy for him.
Has never acknowledged how much pain he caused me and the kids.
We are in the process of trying to sort out finances in the divorce,
and he is pushing to make me sell our flat, so he can take his half of the equity and by a new flat.
I wouldn't be able to, so would have to rent.
He feels nothing to put me and kids in rented accommodation while he moves on with his life.
Hesterton, thanks so much. I needed to hear that. I know my relationship with them is sound. My hatred of her makes "doing the right thing" extremely hard.
There's nothing wrong with living in an rented flat/house you can have a fresh start and make wonderful memories with your kids.
He's entitled to move on and so are you. Be happy the kids are safe and looked after when they with them ! He may be a dick but if she's taking the effort then the kids are ok !
They will make their own mind up eventually
There isn't anything wrong with living in rented property but it is extremely hard to lose your own property - especially when your cheating ex is able to buy again and you are not because you're the primary carer.
If he is narcissistic then its probably good that he went - I know you may not feel that now, but later you may.
Your son commenting on how she plays with DD, this may actually be in contrast to DD's father. It could be that she has commitment/other issues which means she is (probably unconsciously) looking for unsuitable men. So she may be a problem around likely to stray husbands. But she may have good points and be quite good with children, well at least until they bore her or she needs to flit.
Just keep gritting your teeth, and being a good Mum. Your DC will see the gap between what their Dad says and what they know, and will also notice you don't bad mouth him.
Do make sure you have proper legal advice over the financials, I'm not sure he is entitled to 1/2 if you have DC.
Yes, I have spent all the money I have on lawyers.
He is entitled to half, although the courts do try not displace the children.
Disney dad's are soon outed when children become adults
Not in my experience.
If he is a narc, why are you letting him spend time with them? Narcs love no-one; people, kids, are just a means to an end. I'd limit - as much as humanly possible - the time the kids spend with him/them. Break all the rules.
I divorced when my kids were 4 and 5. ExH had a few girlfriends that came in to their lives. As long as they were lovely to my kids I let the rest go. I always talked to them about their time at their Dad's, let them tell me what they had been doing. I did not want them to feel that they could not tell me things in case I got upset or cross. I never lost the closeness with my kids because we were always able to chat about the entirety of their lives. It was hard to hear sometimes but it was to all our benefit. If there is such a thing as a karma bus (load if crap in my mind) it came around as when my eldest was diagnosed with a terminal illness my exH partner was an incredible support to us all, was an amazing step mum to both my boys and I know her love and support for my children was an immense support for me. If I had played the short game we may not have all had the closeness at a time when we all needed to pull together.
This ow does not have to be your friend (my circumstances were exceptional) but as long as she is kind to your children you have to find a way to let the rest go (venting in here is good for that!).
Unfortunately, legally, I cannot stop them having as much contact with him unless I have a full psychological investigation of him, which I can't afford to do (it is very expensive).
He is their father, and I don't doubt he loves them, but he isn't able to truly put their needs first. So I have had to dig deep to reconcile that internally.
He is making a bit effort with them right now - I think it is to try be "the good guy" outwardly.
This woman will never be a friend (again), she personally manipulated me whilst trying to catch my husband. I would feel differently about a new girlfriend who did not do that to me.
Even if you do have a psych report it doesn't help. My friend lost in court in London two months ago and it is on record that he is abusive. He still got 50%
They may like her but they love you. It is better the children are happy to visit (but presumably spend the vast majority of their time with you) - would you have them be unhappy?
It is oh so hard to do the right thing and not bad-mouth their father to the children. Make sure you manage it, though, then he and his lawyer will not have the kind of ammunition that he has provided by speaking badly of you.
Anything you do to hurt him and the OW, will ultimately cause hurt to the children. You can think what you like, though - the freest place on earth is inside your own head.
Small thing but it does help in the end - refer to him as the children's father (positive) and not as your ex (negative).
Can you take up some physical activity that will help express your feelings - karate, self defence, kick boxing etc? What you are going through is absolutely awful but hang in there. Times will eventually improve. I had a very similar situation but now DD is 20 and the split happened years ago, he has lost all his power to get to me. He could buy DD the earth but she chooses to spend Christmas with me.
He's not legally entitled to sell the flat until your youngest kid is 18 or leaves f/them education. Get a solicitor to lodge your financial interest in the property (not expensive to do) so he can't sell it from under you.
Then take your own sweet time deciding what's best for you and the DC.
I am not int he UK, but we were married in the UK, so the court has to lean towards what a UK court would likely rule.
Fading, I like your suggestion about calling him the father
A friend of mine said in court (ex a psychopath [aka narc btw]) she would not comply with the court order and would go to prison if that's what it took. She never did have to let the kids go to him.
As I said, break all the rules. He will do to them what he did to you so don't facilitate their relationship. Tell SS what is happening and keep on it if they fob you off. Tell the police what he is saying to them about you, call the domestic abuse section at your local police station. Push for supervised access - see how he is with that (he won't like it but, being a narc, he'll probably tick all the boxes and look wonderful, charming anyone and everyone).
Don't do any of it with an air of anger or vengeance (or locking horns - if you lock horns with a narc you will lose). Do it sweeter than sweet, the concerned parent. Which you are.
Are you in contact with Womens Aid? Freedom Programme? Rights for Women? Get any and every agency onside. These men are DANGEROUS and we can dig in our heels. If more of us do it the courts will have to take notice and not fob us off with lazy, nonsensical orders.
Chuck out the societal shame that marks you as 'the mother who denied the father access to his kids' - you know that isn't the case. This is different and you know it.
Above posts assume he won't hurt the kids, that he's hurt you but he won't hurt them.
He will hurt the kids, he's a narc. That's what narcs do.
I don't think it is possible to do a 180 turn now. Too far into the process.
And the kids do love him.
He is a fighter, if I did anything like that he would take it very far and I would probably end up having a nervous breakdown, that won't help my kids any.
I have spoken with a psychologist and my lawyer about this,
they both say I can't stop him having access to them.
I am going to take them to child psychologists but nobody is taking on new cases this year, it will be in the new year only.
Also, I just do not 100% trust the system and have a huge fear that it could backfire.
ok, but don't lay down like a lamb if at all possible.
The thing about situations like this is that the abused (that's you) becomes uber compliant, decent, honourable. Probably to even up the balance, as the abuser (that's him) is breaking all the rules with a breathtaking charm. But your compliance/decency/fairness is all part of the abuse: he has got you in a vice. It's a nasty trick. So far, so narc.
So you don't have to do a 180 turn right now, just chip away at NOT being decent, honourable, fair, compliant. He is not fair, he has no intention of being fair, he intends to win - and he will go to any lengths to win. Really, ANY lengths. Nothing is too low for a narc.
He will use the kids. Not just in general machinations - of course he will do that - but in ways that will harm them, emotionally, psychologically. Proper harm, not imagined lightweight harm. He harms because he is a narc.
I appreciate the teetering on the edge of a nervous breakdown, really I do. It's ok for me to spout from my 'high' place (ha! destroyed place more like. Kids destroyed too) because I'm no longer in the thick of it, it's over for me. But I can look back and wish I had done things differently.
Get in touch with eg Rights for Women. That's the legal arm of your rights. We have to do something about this travesty of justice (lorded over by the male-dominated judicial system. In my DA support group there were a large number of abused wives of judges, barristers, police officers etc) and perhaps we have to do it as a group? Each of us is so beleaguered and terrified - the most important thing in the universe is at stake: our kids - that we can barely function let alone take on a daunting cause like this.
Perhaps we could get a journo onto this. Or an MP. Both are looking for causes to support
to make a name for themselves . Poster above whose friend in london's ex was awarded custody despite documented abuse - she could take her story to the press. Saturday Guardian, Family (as a starter).
Join the discussion
Please login first.