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STBXH has new GF, what can i ask re kids?(20 Posts)
We have been separated for a year, he was online dating before that now he's moving in with new gf in a couple of weeks, don't care what he does but want to sure kids are ok, he has agreed to talk about it, what should I be asking? Just want to make transition smooth for kids, they've not met her, he's not told them anything they are 6 and 4. I would rather they could've got to know her a bit first, websites suggest gradual introduction, I would be interested in views of anyone who has been through it, thanks x
Probably first thing I'd ask is does she have kids. How old is she. Is she sensible enough to know what to do if there's an emergency, etc.
What is his plan re introducing them - will they meet her for short "dates" before the move in? I think it would be very confusing just to present it as "Hey kids this is my new house and this is my new girlfriend"
That is what I was thinking of, later down the line things like sleeping arrangements, he is moving in two weeks so not much time for many short dates, he's the sort of person who puts his needs above others, I know he is a good dad in most ways but he hasn't thought this through with the kids in mind, thanks for replying x
Bump for anymore ideas, got to talk to him tomorrow thanks x
Hes moving in with a gf who his children know nothing about and have never even met????
I think this says alot about him. Hes not thought about the kids at all. I think this is a big warning sign that this is a slippery slope tbh.
Tell me about it, this is why I am worried about it and why I would like to know more about it, he is moving further away at the moment has them one day a week but will probably want to transition to every other weekend at some point, I dread it and am angry that they couldn't get to know her first, not sure how to handle it, I certainly would introduce a new partner very gradually if I had one
IMO the kids are too young to really be put in this situation at all. It's very unfair of him to move in with her before the kids even know about her. They should be the priority and surely for any parent, before they moved in with a new partner, they'd want to make sure the kids gradually became comfortable in the new partner's company first; meeting on some cantact times first, explaining about her being a GF, easing them in before moving her in!
The thing is this is only likely to damage his relationship with them as well as upsetting them so it is an utterly stupid thing for him to do tbh.
I'd be asking him had he thought about how he was going to help the children to gradually adjust to the situation so they aren't upset and his relationship with them isn't undermined, if so, how does he plan to do it?
The last thing you need is to jump in and have to parent him in his role as a parent. I think you need to make it clear where your boundaries are in relation to the children's needs.
Does he currently have contact with the dc in his home?
He is moving to a new home so that will be a disruption to them and the current arrangement anyway. I think I'd draw my boundary at expecting him to gradually integrate her if he is serious about her even if that means his contact is temporarily reduced as the most important thing is maintaining a good relationship between the dc and him and also protecting them from unnecessary bad feeling.
The stuff about her age and whether she has kids I think is up to him. The main thing is ensuring he is thinking about their needs and stepping up to protect them if he isn't.
and it is definitely not realistic to expect them to adjust over two weeks! It is more reasonable to expect a few months of mainly contact with him alone and introducing her gradually before they are able to go to his house and actually be comfortable in a more family type of arrangement.
IMO step parents and partners can be lovely for dc and are really just another person to love them but you do need to make sure they are introduced to the DC in a thoughtful way.
Thanks for the reply Offred, it is very helpful, for the last year he has had a flat 5 minutes away and is moving about 1/2 hour away, he takes the kids to his mums a lot and out and about to soft play and park etc, what do I say if they ask me why they cant go to the flat anymore or 'where does daddy live", I want to be able to reassure them but I'm not comfortable myself
You could suggest that he has contact at his mum's in the main in the adjustment period. He should introduce the idea of his new gf before the reality though so he could talk a bit about her before they meet. I think by the sounds of it the only hurdle you won't be able to overcome is that they may feel a bit excluded by the GF having come with the new home and it being daddy's an GF's home rather than daddy's and their home and also that they will inevitably have to deal with both new home and new GF at the same time which is not great for them (or him). I'm not into lying to DC so not sure what you should tell them but this is his decision he really should be putting in some effort over it by thinking this stuff through himself and not relying on you to work it all out for him.
hi, I am feeling for you as STBXH told our children we were separating and he has moved in with gf all at the same time. I thought and thought and researched the ways to make it easier for the children and sent STBXH links to information etc and then SIL said actually it isn't your problem, it is his problem to sort out, it was a huge relief for me. I am an observer how DH and OW are handling it, although it's certainly not the way I would have recommended it, it was their decision. DC seem to hate her and DS no longer wants to visit - I do not feel guilty about this. Having a good relationship with our DC is our responsibility and it is already quite enough, we don't need to take on responsibility for their relationship with their father and his GF as well. This helped me anyway, it's difficult enough.
totally agree crumb. It is his decision. Plan for the worst and have expectation that he will live up to the best was my motto.
My experience and therefore opinion does friend very much on the personality of your kids.
But they're 4 and 6. You might be overthinking it.
My daughter was nearly 5 when I told her I had a boyfriend, about 3 months after I'd moved to a new house. I told her quickly because she'd already met him, he was a workman at my house.
She thought it was terribly exciting that I had a boyfriend! Accepted him instantly. He wasn't living here, but as we both have kids, we had some weekends away together and she was perfectly happy with that. When we split 18 months later she was unphased, and still happily chats to him when he's working at mine (it's a long job!)
Her father now has a girlfriend. She has only ever seen her with overnight stays involved, because she lives 2 hours away. She likes her, and her daughter - and is always really happy to see them.
At 6 and 4, don't rule out the possibility that your kids might just accept this. It sounds like your house is their home, pretty limited overnights. So they simply might not see this woman as taking over their home.
I would keep it simple - daddy has a girlfriend, that's nice isn't it?
It really might not be as complicated as you think.
Yeah, that's true. I can only go off my experience. With my DC it was not so much their ages but the quality of their relationship with their father that was crucial. If they are not secure in their position in their father's eyes and so all of this disruption really undermined their relationship with him even further. Mine were 2 and a baby when this stuff was going on. My son was potty training at the time and basically regressed with anxiety over it. They are both still affected by their insecurity in relation to him now at 10 and 8 but that is because this was just part of his general selfishness and lack of care for them which meant they have never really felt safe or a priority for him. There have been several poor choices like this he has made which have all compounded the problem and I've had to hold back a lot a felt really bad about their unnecessary suffering but they are extremely close to me and some of the GFs my ex has had have been lovely stabilising influences and have really contributed more to the children's security. Unfortunately my ex is a sexual incontinent and seems excellent at finding lovely GF who he just chews up repeatedly. He recently married and has become much more stable but is still selfish and the DC still don't feel they can rely on him despite him being reliable over turning up for contact for 2 years now and having been married for 1 year...
I guess what I mean is you know your kids and your ex better than us and you should probably trust your instincts. I had to go against mine because he had taken me to court and despite my misgivings the court (although agreed he should introduce GF slowly after establishing his own relationship) threatened to hold me in contempt of court if I would not allow overnight contact which he demanded then did once then refused to do again.... As I worried he would, he had demanded certain contact days/times and I had allowed him to choose when he was free and he had still frequently refused to turn up, but the court in its wisdom still felt arranging overnight contact was a good plan... <sigh> felt so awful for my poor sensitive little boy at the time...
and I've probably made things sound worse than they are tbh. My daughter found it difficult to integrate into school (as she has anxiety about change because of her DF) and had a horrible teacher in reception which didn't help and was anorexic for a while when she was around 6/7. They get stressed over contact but they have no real significant issues. I would say overall they are normal children and people and they are responding normally to what their DF is like - they might be stressed and upset but I have always thought really a normal response and being able to actually function normally is OK in the circs. Overall their dad is a small part of their lives and so the vast majority of the time they are just normal and happy kids. I can't change who he is but I can help teach them to deal with their relationship with him.
DD who I was PG with at the time of the split is probably worst affected though (DS was 9 months), which is why I think age is less relevant than your ex's relationship with them.
My ex moved out and got a place with his new gf who I didn't even know he was with, I had a suspicion he was seeing her, unsure if he was living with her as when I tried to bring it up he would avoid the subject, he didn't have the kids over for 3 months, even though they kept asking when they could see his new house as they were excited about going to stay, which I hated him for because he would fob them off with excuse after excuse and I knew the real reason why. When he finally took them over I had to ask the day before if he had someone living there, just went to show he has no respect for me whatsoever. When the kids came back my daughter said we met daddy's friend, she lives in the same house and my son shhhh'd her. I spoke to them about it later and my son seemed to be trying to not tell me something, he is 12, my daughter is 8, I don't know how ex introduced her but doesnt look like he said she was his gf, I told the kids it was ok and explained to them who she was, as like I say my son seemed like he was hiding something and I didn't want him to have that on his shoulders. My ex is such a twat and has to do this whole secretive thing. He struggles just to be honest and make life a little easier. They have since been on a couple of days out neither time my ex let me know if she was going or not, I know she did as he pulled up outside my house to pick them up but was careful not to park the car right outside, as she was obviously there.
I can't stop him seeing his kids and he has had them to stay at his about 3 times now and its not great for me as I have never met this woman and its obviously hard, but its a damn sight better then the situation I was in before trying to separate from this man. I can only hope he is taking good care of them when they are there and I have to trust in this, I try and enjoy the time I have to myself, its getting easier.
The kids do not seem to be affected by this, I think stopping them from going to his would have more of a detrimental affect on them.
In an ideal world he shouldn't have moved in with her straight away, but I've learnt that he will never do the right thing, thats why he is my ex, I tried to separate from him for 3 long years and he only left in the end because this other woman came into the picture, which is how I knew deep down he was in a new relationship he would never of left otherwise, he just kept it a secret as usual. I have to thank her in a way, and I have briefly spoken to her on the phone and she seemed normal,
it's only been a few months so the children might see things differently or it might have a different affect on them as time goes on, I will just have to deal with things as time goes on, but its down to him to put them first I will never be able to control the stupid things he does apart from stopping him seeing them which I will never do for their sake not his.
No doubt if I get into a new relationship all hell will break lose though
Yeah I have never stopped mine seeing their dad either. It's so miserable isn't it? :/ I did say I wouldn't allow him to only have contact with one of his children (he had no interest in dd and was saying some crap about her not being his at the time but wouldn't do a DNA) so the offer was both or none and I did once say he had to choose whether he was going to step up and be a dad or bugger off and let h do it as he was damaging them with his flip flapping. Oh and also that he should not bring new gf to contact as he needed to build an actual relationship with them himself first before introducing her - at that point he had had no contact at all for one year because he was pretending he didn't have a GF (ow) and telling people I was horrible ex preventing contact - court eventually found case was vexatious, I had never been obstructive and he had 'said some of the worst things you can say about a woman never mind the mother of your children' abou me.
I know me particularly is going on about my experiences but I'm hoping it will give you insight into how relevant my advice is or isn't to your situation.
As far as the GFs go, I've always been relieved when he has one. Some have been more interested and active as parents than others (his wife is almost completely non-existent) but when in a relationship he does a better show of being a 'good boy'.
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