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Ex took our ds to stay overnight at a girl 'friends'..

(26 Posts)
ColdTattyWaitingForSummer Sat 13-Aug-16 20:07:46

Me and my ex have been separated over two years. Not officially divorced (but not sure if that's relevant).
Towards the end and just after we split up things were very messy and nasty. But he has always had contact with ds, and I'm pleased that despite everything our son still has a good relationship with his df.
Ds stays with him every Friday night and part of every Saturday. Last night he took him for a 'sleepover' with someone who was apparently an old school friend. When I mentioned 'him' ds corrected me to her. Now for one part the problem is that if I was going away on holiday or overnight I would always let the ex know just out of courtesy and in case of emergency (where they went was a four hour round trip away), and I also don't think ds is ready for this. It just makes me feel a bit icky too and I'm not sure why.
I almost posted this in aibu, but I thought relationships might be a kinder place.
I'd really appreciate some replies / opinions. Thanks.

HandyWoman Sat 13-Aug-16 20:13:14

Ok am going to be brutal here. He doesn't need to let you know where they are going. 4 hr trip or not, in these days of Wifi and 4G it is normally pretty easy to communicate in case of emergency. Unless somewhere totally remote for a long spell.

It's been two years. Why do you think ds isn't ready for this?

And I'm afraid that, although you could in theory ask him to modify plans around his possible relationship with his gf you don't really get any say.

It's probably a bit of a shock to you but for all you know they could've been together for two years and only just been introduced. I think the thing to do is just take a deep breath, maybe have a wine and chat with a mate about how it makes you feel, but it might just be an emotional blip which is more about you and your ex than any problem with ds.

Unless ds is distressed/disturbed, obviously.

Missgraeme Sat 13-Aug-16 20:13:48

Unfortunately u have no say in where your ex takes your ds or with whom. Don't be quick to slate her tho - my ex and his gf used to text about my 2x ds when they were with her and ex. She was more pleasant to converse with than him!! As long as ds didn't come back with horror stories then I would bite your tongue. Its the tough bit of moving on. ...

ColdTattyWaitingForSummer Sat 13-Aug-16 20:25:54

Hmm. Thanks for the input. Ds has definitely not been his normal self since he got home, although I certainly wouldn't go as far as distressed.
I'm pretty sure it's the fact that it was an overnight that I'm uneasy with. For instance, if they'd followed what (I think?) is the usual advice and started off with a meet up in a neutral place for a couple of hours I'd be much more ok with that. It's also the fact that I know he would find it wildly inappropriate (as would I really) if I took ds for a 'sleepover' at some bloke's house.
But thanks for the honest answers.

Alliswellihope43 Sat 13-Aug-16 20:34:04

Tbh you don't know wether ds has met this friend before, he could have met her any amount of times, and not mentioned her? I know my stepdaughter didn't mention me to her mother until I stayed over ds house next day we got a text saying who the fuck is...
It's hard but it is his child too, how old is ds?

Alliswellihope43 Sat 13-Aug-16 20:34:39

*DH house not ds

happypoobum Sat 13-Aug-16 20:39:08

How old is DS? I don't think you can be 100% sure that he hasn't met the woman before in a neutral place, such as a park etc and just not remembered or mentioned it to you? He could have met her several times surely?

So are you saying that if you had a new partner, you don't think there would ever be an occasion where you and DS would stay overnight with your partner?

Either way, no, there is nothing you can do about it. It's not inappropriate for XH to move on, have a new partner, and to introduce that person to DS.

HandyWoman Sat 13-Aug-16 20:41:06

Was this the first time ds met her? If yes, then it's not great. And you could ask your ex to take things slower. your ex can do as he pleases unless he places your ds at risk.

But do you know if ds has met her before, if they are definitely in a relationship and how ds feels? How old is ds?

TheNaze73 Sat 13-Aug-16 20:42:39

Morally, he's doing so much wrong & I see & would feel exactly the same as you Op. However, what he does on his watch, providing it's legal, isn't really your issue sadly

BrianButterfield Sat 13-Aug-16 20:45:17

Separated for two years? How is he morally doing so much wrong?

WannaBe Sat 13-Aug-16 20:48:20

"Hmm. Thanks for the input. Ds has definitely not been his normal self since he got home, although I certainly wouldn't go as far as distressed." I'm going to be blunt. IME parents think a lot more about this stuff than children do. And on a sub conscious level many parents imagine their children to be upset/not themselves when on the whole children are incredibly resilient and accepting of new situations, provided that there is no abuse in the equation. But children also pick up a lot on their parents' reactions, and if you're showing surprise/unhappiness over the situation then he may have picked up on that hence why he appears to be different because he doesn't want you upset....

Also IME there is no right or wrong way to introduce a new GF. As long as there isn't a string of new GF's on the scene, but every situation is different, some have the gradual introduction, some have the GF over. It's how the relationship pans out in the future which is the important part. Because years down the line if they stay together your DS isn't going to remember that he went for a sleepover at her house, he will remember the more recent parts of their relationship - iyswim.

Two years is by no means too soon for your DS to meet someone new. It's a hard part of moving on that your DS will have (hopefully positive) relationships with other people who enter both yours and your ex's lives.

ColdTattyWaitingForSummer Sat 13-Aug-16 20:51:25

Ds is 9, coming up 10.
He seemed pretty sure he had not met this lady before. I think he would have known, but of course you're right, I can't be certain.
I'm not sure that they are definitely in a relationship, and ds didn't explicitly say so, he did say she was nice, so that's fine from that angle.
I rushed into my relationship with ds's father and looking back I brought my older kids into it too soon (I also have a dd and another ds), so based on that and the backlash when my marriage broke down (losing our home, abuse issues, stbxh has alcohol problems), I've made a conscious decision that if and when I do date again then it will be well away from the children.
But I do take the point that my ex doesn't have to make the same choice.

Nottalotta Sat 13-Aug-16 20:59:53

I think it's just general good manners to let you know these things. And I do think a 4 hr trip should be mentioned. Yes, you are at the end of any number of electronic devices, but what if something bad DID happen, car accident or similar?

I don't think you can have an awful lot of say in what they do, but I do think xh should be keeping you informed.

HandyWoman Sat 13-Aug-16 21:00:58

You are feeling understandably sensitive about this issue. That's ok.

I agree with WannaBe that children are generally very adaptable. They have adults coming in and out of their lives in all sorts of contexts, e.g. Clubs, School teachers and TA's and people in their parents' circle. If he isn't sure whether she's a gf then it was probably a fairly laid back experience. And she was 'nice'. I would not grill ds further about the details because this may well unnerve him and he may already have picked up on your 'surprise' re the friend being a female. Your ds will also be aware of other family setups among school friends. He'll be ok.

My ex has a new gf who is definitely a positive influence on the life of my dd's and it has helped us all immensely.

WannaBe Sat 13-Aug-16 21:04:25

But presumably you were with your ex for at least seven years? confused

The reality is that there is no way of knowing whether a relationship might last or not. You could introduce someone after a week and you might stay together for ever, conversely you could introduce the kids after a year and it might end two weeks later.

My DS met my DP after six weeks (because of eXH's ultimatum that if I didn't tell DS then he would,) 3.5 years later we're engaged but not living together due to distance/circumstances so even though we met soon we didn't move in together too quickly so the relationship has developed at a slow-ish pace iyswim. Conversely however eXH introduced his GF to DS after about three months, but within eighteen months they were engaged, she got pregnant, moved in, a few months later and they now have a baby. All very soon IMO but it works for them iyswim.

It's just not for any one person to dictate how another should go about things even when it comes to introducing the kids. Because every person and every relationship is different.

ColdTattyWaitingForSummer Sat 13-Aug-16 21:12:20

Thanks nottalotta I've always given him that courtesy, so I was a little disappointed not to be given it in return.
And handywoman you make some good points. But please don't think I've 'grilled' ds, he came home and told me what he'd been doing, same as he would any other Saturday. The only questions I explicitly asked (and I ask regularly) were what he had eaten (so I wouldn't cook the same) and whether he had had a shower today (whether he needed one tonight).

HandyWoman Sat 13-Aug-16 21:22:07

Reallt sorry, OP, I wasn't implying you had grilled him. It came out wrong. I just know that feeling of itching to know exactly what's going on. It's hard.

I know people have different levels of communication with co-parenting. They might share loads of info about what's going on. Personally I hand my kids over and never give them much of a thought - they are with the other parent - end of and I love my child free time so i tend to skip off into the adult sunset

I met a guy last year who had to speak on the phone to his dd every single day. I found it total overkill, slightly nauseating ('I love you darling') and all about the adult. But it's probably horses for courses.

There's no obligation to share these details though. So it's hard.

kennypppppppp Sat 13-Aug-16 21:27:56

i'd be going fucking ballistic to be honest. and if i was in that position (which i well could be) - i'd ring the ex and ask him what's going on. as i have to say to the ex when i speak to him - it's the CHILDREN that are important. THEIR welfare needs 100% attention, regardless of what me and him are going through/not going through.

bang out of order to take a kid to someone's house for the night. if that was me in my position the kids would have known about the new man first, let that settle in, meet him for lunch somewhere, let that settle in, and then if there was to be an overnighter at his then it would have been discussed first, let that settle in. totally not putting the child first just staying there without the child knowing about it first.

plus i would like to know if my children are not staying at their dads flat then where are they staying. i've always let him know if we are away for the night. as a matter of manners. and it bloody kills me to do it.

ColdTattyWaitingForSummer Sat 13-Aug-16 21:49:51

Thanks kenny.. Thought I was going nuts there being the only one to feel this way!
Also think I have read way too many triggery domestic violence threads this weekend, so lots of stuff bubbling under the surface.
I'm going to bed with a hot chocolate, logging off for the night, and tomorrow I'm going to have a nice day with ds. I'm also going to try and chat it through with someone irl too.

kennypppppppp Sat 13-Aug-16 21:53:11

you're not going nuts. you are putting your child first and his emotional welfare. plus a reason to go ballistic at the ex is always a joyous occasion, says me

kilmuir Sun 14-Aug-16 00:27:54

Blimey . Any excuse to go ballistic at an ex? How pathetic. And then you say welfare of child is paramount.
People move on. Old wife and child will have to get on with it. Yes, I expect the old wife is sensitive but doesn't mean the new girlfriend is awful, or that the child will not like her. ( as much as you may hope otherwise)

Bambamrubblesmum Sun 14-Aug-16 07:57:12

you're not going nuts. you are putting your child first and his emotional welfare. plus a reason to go ballistic at the ex is always a joyous occasion, says me

hmm

If you think you are being a good parent with that outlook then you're going to have issues to deal with in the future. Your children will learn to keep secrets from you in case you use what they say as a reason to create drama.

Fairylea Sun 14-Aug-16 08:03:32

I think it's not a big deal at all to be honest. I've been separated from dds dad since she was 6 months old, she is now 13 and has always had overnights with him (and he now lives in the USA so she goes and stays half the holidays with him). Whatever he does with her on his time is up to him. The same way that I would be absolutely livid if he started to dictate what I could do on my time. If you had concerns about Ds welfare or he was a tiny baby then things might be different but as an older child and after 2 years separation from your ex I think you really need to disengage.

Even if your ex does some things you don't agree with, unless it's actually dangerous I think you need to step back.

veryproudvolleyballmum Sun 14-Aug-16 08:04:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

insancerre Sun 14-Aug-16 08:10:15

However hard this is for you, you really can't dictate what your child's father does

The sooner you resign yourself to this, the easier it will be to cope with

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