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ExH wanting to introduce DC to new girlfriend(21 Posts)
ExH and I split two months ago, he moved out five weeks ago. We have three DC aged 5, 4 and 3. It was a fairly amicable split, I raised the concept of us splitting initially. I'm not bitter or jealous in any way, the marriage had been doomed for a good two years by the time it ended and I hadn't been in love with him for that amount of time. It was a relief when he moved out if I'm honest.
Anyway he met somebody else around three weeks after we split. He professes to already be madly in love with her despite them only being together for five weeks, his choice of course. He moved in with her and her two children last week which I thought was far too soon especially considering her children's father had only left a week previously! But obviously that's their lives, her children and not my place to say anything.
However ExH now wants to introduce our children to her and her children. I think it's all way too soon. I suggested he be with her for at least six months before introducing the DC to her primarily because if their relationship does end and/or she doesn't turn out to be who he thinks she is (because lets face it after five weeks how much can you really KNOW about someone?!) it will confuse the DC. I think it's a big deal introducing DC to a new partner, he seems to think I'm being ridiculous and this is how quickly most people do it. He's spoken to a lot of people he knows anyway and they all agree with him that I'm being silly about the whole thing...
So he's insistent that they will meet his new partner on Friday. There's not really much I can do about it. I'm just wondering how to prepare them for this and also I guess I'm looking for other experiences, opinions, whether I'm entirely in the wrong for thinking it's all very rushed...
I'm just exhausted with fighting him over it by this point. I'm worried about it having some sort of impact on the DC because they're still fairly confused by daddy not being in the house full time, when will they be seeing him next and all the rest so I'm concerned this is going to throw them off kilter even more.
Hmmm, this is a really tricky one. Firstly I 100% agree with you that it is far too soon for him to be introducing your DCs to anyone. They are, as you say, still processing the whole idea of you 2 not being together. Honestly how anyone can convince themselves that this is ok is beyond me. It sounds as if he's suffering from some sort of post break up insanity!
However, from what you say it sounds as if he's going to do it anyway. Is he intending that your DCs spend overnights at this new house with new woman and her family or will he just be seeing them for the evening? I would be inclined to say over to him on this one. As you have explained clearly why you don't think it's such a good idea, then let him be the one to tell them. When they get home you can try and have a chat with them and work out how they are feeling, but they are very young and will probably struggle to understand this fully. All you can do is continue to show them the love and consistency that you give them at home so they know they have a safe and loving Mum to return to after these confusing visits.
I hope it goes as well as it can ...
What a mess! Poor you.
Absolutely too soon. And I'm usually all for quick introductions, it's the mix of timing plus other kids plus living there that makes me
You can't stop it, of course.
Tbh, I would be half the kids were young, an age where many just take things in their stride. My 4.5yo met my new bf 2 months after I moved into a new house. Never phased her at all. Neither did my break up with him 18 months on, or her dad getting a new gf after 6 months. All a bit longer I know. But - she didn't have the maturity or emotional depth to think anything too deep about it. She was never expected to think of my bf as a new dad.
If you pull back on telling him it's too early, do you think you can persuade him to keep it light? At those ages, they even need to be told she's a gf.
I don't mean lying to them... Just - it's not relevant to them to talk about girlfriends, IMO. It took my now 6yo nearly 6 months to say, giggling, "did you know that Vicki is daddy's GIRLFRIEND?" She didn't feel hoodwinked.
Just try to keep it all light
I think he will be saying it's his friend or perhaps 'special friend', I don't know. He's very adamant on it happening regardless of what I say and he's received a lot of validation from various people he knows that he's doing the right thing too so there's no getting through to him, sadly.
He does want to do over nights very soon, yes. Friday will just be meeting her for an hour or so in her house. I don't know, it all seems incredibly rushed and I'm glad I'm
not the only one that thinks so!
I'm hoping they do just take it in their stride but ever since the separation the 4 year old has taken it extremely badly, she's started acting out and cries a lot. I'm just afraid this will send her in particular over the edge. They don't fully understand him leaving yet, they still need to adjust to that let alone the concept of new partners and all the rest. Hmm.
Introducing them to her is one thing; introducing them to her and her children in her home where he now lives is quite another.
Can he be prevailed on to introduce them in a public place such as a park or pub garden where it can appear as if he's just bumped into her and the respective dc can play together, or not if they take a dislike to each other?
Imo your little girl needs a lot more time to adjust to daddy no longer living at home with her before she has to deal with the fact that he's living with other children and being a daddy to them.
Jeez, he is an insensitive arse, isn't he? So loved up with his new squeeze that he's prepared to ride roughshod over his dcs' feelings in order to project an image of happy blended family to the world - and what of her dc? It seems to me she's as uncaring of her dcs' feelings as he is of his. Don't they realise that young children don't have the vocabulary to express their emotions and often internalise their unhappiness and fears?
Please consider play therapy for your dd. There are some details here www.playtherapy.org.uk/AboutPlayTherapy/AboutPlayTherapy.htman
In the meantime you can encourage all of your dc to express their feelings with a set of small dolls named after themselves, their dps, dgps, and in this case the ow & her dc, and through painting 'the day daddy left...' or 'the day we met ..,.' and well as happier topics 'my birthday party', 'the day we went to ...' as they can also reveal a child's inner thoughts on seemingly unrelated events which may have added to their distress.
As for the validation he's allegedly getting from others - I suggest you take that with a pinch of salt. On the other hand, I sometimes think that if I hear one more
stupid twat adult say 'children are so resilient' I'll thcream and thcream 'till I'm thick.
I think it's too soon. I can't see why these things need to be rushed. He is already living there, so, presumably, her dc's are around him a lot.
As someone else suggested, a public place or something. But, to be honest, and it is only my opinion, the whole thing seems a bit farcicle.
It all seems too be going to quick with little thought, from either of them, about the impact it could/will have on the children. I could be wrong.
It is far too soon for the child. He will do it anyway unless he respects your opinion, so there is not a lot you can do about it unfortunately.
Thank you so very much goddess, that's helped an enormous amount. I'm going to look into getting little dolls now, what a brilliant idea.
I don't think he's thinking of their best interests either however much he claims he is. He says it's unfair that he should keep what is now a major part of his life (the girlfriend and her children) from them and that I am being controlling in some way attempting to stop him from doing it.
I just don't understand what the rush is! I'll ask if they could meet her in a public place but I don't think he'll agree to that. He's very intent on them seeing his new home, his new life. I just know how many questions they're going to have upon their return and how it will be me that has to answer them all and obviously deal with any upset that may occur from it. He doesn't understand any of that.
I actually am certain he's doing it to get at me because he knows I've always held strong views on not introducing children to new partners for at least half a year if not a year, we had discussions before we even split up about it. It's sad he'd do that when it could obviously affect our children negatively. I like to think he isn't but it seems that way to me because it's the only sort of hold he really has over me now.
I would bet every penny I have that your Ex has not just met this woman. This is only a new relationship to you - it's well established between them.
Mouse i feel for you. exh did the same, wanted to introduce the kids after 4 or 5 weeks. i went batshit, and we had been separated for a year! i cant believe the woman has moved him in with her kids after 5 weeks either, thats really sad :-(
im with pp, just listen to your dc and be there as a stable figure with love, hugs and reassurance. especially when you get the inevitable questions about them living together, replacing them with the other kids etc. this can be ok, you can make it ok for them.
what a pair of twats though, poor you and dc.
I said that too hips but he does tend to move quickly with life so it doesn't surprise me at all. I feel sad for her children too, it's even worse because their father moved out and my exh moved in only a week later! How confused they must be .
Well I'll try my best to be as supportive towards them as possible. I'll sit down with them tomorrow and attempt to explain and prepare them for it. The three year old is none the wiser but the older two understand it all, it's the four year old I'm most concerned about .
You can't stop him, but I agree it's too soon.
You could try appealing to his better nature and be a bit manipulative about it. After all, if he wants the DC to like his new partner, it is vital that they don't see her as competition to them, and if he's failing to give the DC his full, undivided attention because he's trying to introduce a third person into the family relationships, that is how the DC will see the new GF - no matter how nice she is...
It's too soon. When I met my now DH, him and his ex has been split for about 8 years, I insisted we wait 6 months before introducing me to his child. And then I only went along for visits every few times. He "pre warned" his child "I think coco is going to come along next time I see you, is that OK?" Because more than anything, DSS feelings come before mine. I'm an adult, he is a child. If he wanted to show him where we were living, the first time I was out so he could get to grips with it. He has a really difficult time regarding exp and access so I'm conscious that every time he sees DSS, there is ample Daddy time without me.
Your DC have been through enough without their father attempting to throw them in at the deep end with a new woman and her children.
I tend to be in the minority on MN favouring fairly quick introductions as I believe if the relationship has potential you need to see if you click with the children involved
However by introduction I believe in a light this is my friend xxx and keeping contact minimal outside the home..
It all sounds a bit disastrous the fact that there are other children in the mix and that it is his new home after 5 weeks?? Very selfish behaviour from him.
Ok, he won't listen to you- would he call gingerbread and get their advice on how to do it?? A professional body that deals with marriage break ups and single parents and really knows about this kind of thing.
It is definitely too soon.
I second what a pp said about play therapy.
Have you asked him how he would feel about you introducing a new partner to the children?? My mind explodes with how stupid he is being.
They've probably been together a lot longer than you think and are serious and therefore ready for the kids to meet.
Great that you aren't bitter as it make it much easier on your DCs
Agree with the others who said it sounds like he's known her a while (particularly given the dates that her ex moved out too???!!)
I'd say no. She could be anyone. Then wait to hear his response. It'll probably be along the lines of him having known her for longer as friends.......
I think it's too soon...BUT as a kid I had a very weird 2 years (7-9 years)between when my father moved out/started a new relationship and when we were allowed to meet OW.
When we saw him where he lived, she wouldn't be there but the flat seemed to be her territory with her belongings etc but she and my Dad's life were a confusing mystery to us. We weren't even allowed to see photos of her. Who was she? Was she nice? I remember it was all very unsettling. In the end it caused a huge amount of damage. She never gelled with us, partly I think because she got what she wanted (the man) and then when she was all settled 2-3 years in (and pregnant), these inconvenient kids turned up to be part of her and her new baby's life. We were just so confused about who she was, had nothing concrete to understand why my Dad wasn't with my Mum anymore. I thought they would still get back together as I wasn't shown that they had moved on. Finding out that this mystery woman was going to have a baby was one of the biggest shocks of my life. My sister (aged 1-3) would not even speak on the phone to my Dad for years as she was just so confused. She subsequently suffered terrible anxiety when visiting him later (aged 4-12).
Meanwhile, my Mum had some truly lovely lovely boyfriends who we got to know, they stayed over, she stayed sometimes at their house. One in particular (sadly not the one she went on to marry, she turned him down because she was 8 years older and couldn't have anymore kids...) was totally involved in our lives and those are still some of the best memories I have from those years. He was there- we accepted that. He left- we accepted that.
Subsequently my Dad has had many many more relationships. Those women have mostly drifted painlessly in and out of our lives. Some stayed longer than others. None did the damage that the first did.
Basically...it's all down to the quality of the adults involved and how much they show their love, interest and patience for all kids involved.
Hope it works out...
I couldn't stop thinking about your little dd last night
On reflection, I have no compunction in suggesting that you withhold contact until such time as you have sought legal advice with regard to divorce and childcare arrangements, together with the advice of childcare professionals in relation to your dd's obvious distress at the absence of her df from her home and his stated intention to introduce all of your dc to the ow and her dc their/his new home without any apparent consideration of his dc's individual needs.
If possible, I would suggest that you invite your h to spend time with the dc in their/your home under your supervision, but if this is not to his liking stand firm and insist that you will not allow him to carry out his plan until such time as professional childcare advisers consider it is appropriate for your dc to meet the ow/her dc, preferably in a way which has been formulated by them.
This will at least buy additional time to enable your dc to process their df's absence before being made aware that he is living with an ow and acting as df to her dc, and it could be that his relationship with the ow ends before any conclusion is reached.
If he should say that he intends to go to court to gain access/custody, he will first be required to attend mediation at which time you can make your views known and negotiate future childcare arrangements.
I can't emphasise enough that your dc should be treated with a sensitivity that does not appear to be evident in their df and I have particular concern for your dd as acting out, coupled with her obvious unhappiness, indicates that she is seriously conflicted by his absence from the family home and introducing the ow/her dc at this particular point in time may adversely affect her emotional development and cause psychological harm which could negatively impact on her childhood and adult relationships with others.
In any event, it is not down to you to 'prepare' the dc for this ill-conceived introduction and it is inadvisable for you to do so as they may erroneously believe that, by effectively delivering his 'message', you have caused their df to abandon them and turn his attention to another mother and her dc.
Fwiw, in my view you are an eminently sensible woman who bears no malice whatsoever towards your h and whose only concern in this matter is the effect his intentions will have on the dc, and I have no doubt that legal and childcare professionals will form opinions of you that are not dissimilar to my own.
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