Advanced search

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.

How to cope with a new woman in my children's life?

(28 Posts)
Notwhatiexpected Tue 04-Oct-16 13:02:24

My husband has done it all, and if we didn't have kids I would have emigrated to the moon to escape. But I can't pull the plug on our marriage, can't divorce because I cannot cope with the thought that I will be replaced at lightening speed, and then have to compete with another woman for my kids.
How do divorced mums and dads cope with this? My kids are 8 and 5. It is just so unfair, I have been lied to over and over again, treated appallingly. I have been royally f**cked over by this man, I am so angry, and the thought of being punished further by having to share the kids with someone I will have no hand in choosing is staggeringly unfair.

RedMapleLeaf Tue 04-Oct-16 13:04:58

So your current plan is to what? Stay in this marriage with him having an affair? And he's going to go along with this plan?

Mintychoc1 Tue 04-Oct-16 13:11:19

Why do you think that if you divorced you would be competing with another woman for your kids?

Notwhatiexpected Tue 04-Oct-16 13:22:37

Having typed my thoughts I realise that this is a very "me me me" train of thought. I have just been thinking about how unfair it is to me, and not thinking enough about how unfair this is for the kids.

Why do I think I would be competing? Because my husband is alright for cash and looks, and he is a habitual liar. He won't have ANY trouble finding a girlfriend, and then they will do the new Disney family thing at the weekends while I get to do the homework and washing and parenting.

Notwhatiexpected Tue 04-Oct-16 13:23:24

My current plan is I don't know what to do.

Mintychoc1 Tue 04-Oct-16 13:32:02

I find it strange that you think your "ex" and his as-yet-Unknown new partner will suddenly become a magical parenting unit that your kids will find preferable to you. Unless there is a huge backstory you're not telling us.

My dad left when I was 2 and has had 3 wives and numerous other relationships since. His second wife was lovely and I was fond of her - but that was as far as it went - fondness - she didn't come anywhere close to competing with my Mum. His subsequent relationships meant absolutely nothing to me.

Notwhatiexpected Tue 04-Oct-16 13:38:58

I am being selfish, I have seen blended families that work, and some where there is competition for the kids affection. I am just really angry.

Who knows, I might even find someone nice!

NoFuchsGiven Tue 04-Oct-16 13:41:17

This all sounds hypothetical op or am I missing something? Is your husband having an affair and seeing someone else or are you concerned in case you divorce he will start seeing someone else?

HarleyQuinzel Tue 04-Oct-16 13:46:17

You seem to be worrying about something that may never happen! What would your custody arrangement be like?

I'm NC with my mum and I still don't get on with my step mum. She's not my cup of tea at all, and if your kids do get on with her, that is a good thing!

I don't know why you think you'd have to compete.

Shameandregret Tue 04-Oct-16 13:49:42

My dc's are 5 & 8 and my ex has got a new woman.

I had to leave him because he assaulted me very badly for the last time.

He lived with my eldest (13) not his dc, for 11 years & doesn't see him. DS1's choice. DS2 (8) adores his dad and DD (5) is ambivalent. They have met ex DH's new DP and they are...underwhelmed. They don't seem at all bothered by it or her.

I have a new (bloody amazing) DP who would never raise his voice never mind his fists to me.

I worried about this, like you OP. The reality is far less gutting than imagined. Being in a frankly horrible marriage was far worse an experience.

Notwhatiexpected Tue 04-Oct-16 13:49:47

I am just trying to think about all the implications of my decision.

There is a backstory,

I just wanted to know how other women cope with welcoming other women into their kids life, because that seems even harder than staying.

MattBerrysHair Tue 04-Oct-16 14:00:06

My exdh and I separated 18 months ago and he finally moved out 6 months later. He has a new partner now who is very involved in my dc's life, who are the same age as yours. Nobody can ever replicate the bond between my dc and I. Exdh and his partner are wealthy and can afford so much that I can't, but that doesn't matter as I will always be 'mummy'. The new partner is lovely and I'm grateful that exdh has found someone who will love our dc. As DS1 said when he had known the new partner for a few months "having a step-parent just means there are more people to love".

Get a divorce and give yourself a chance to find someone decent so your dc grow up knowing what a good relationship looks like.

HarleyQuinzel Tue 04-Oct-16 14:01:14

Well, your kids wouldn't have an arsehole around most of the time. How often would he have them, every other weekend? Surely you could live with that? 2 weeks is a lifetime to kids. You'll always be their mum.

seminakedinsomebodyelsesroom Tue 04-Oct-16 14:49:59

You sound very angry and upset. It sounds like you are in a very difficult situation. But, you're their mum. I am pretty sure kids don't just swap one parent for another that easily.

RedMapleLeaf Tue 04-Oct-16 15:40:01

My current plan is I don't know what to do.

At the moment your options appear to be:
1) Bitterly live a dreadful post-divorce life full of unfairness and punishment.

That's a rather bleak (and short) list. What other options are there?

Cabrinha Tue 04-Oct-16 15:59:54

There's no point in pretending that it's easy to see your child with another partner.

My XH literally did the Disney dad thing - took my daughter to Orlando for 2 weeks with his new GF and her daughter. Let's not go there on the fact he never bothered to take her away on his own. Ever.

So now, my daughter:
- thinks this woman is ace
- is overjoyed that she now has a sister (the sibling I couldn't give her because my XH was a cheating arsehole and I didn't want to catch a disease from him, or sleep with him full stop, or bring any more children into the mess)
- will trot across the playground (same school now hmm) to chat to them instead of me shock
- goes on lovely family Disney type trips

So yeah - sometimes they think stepmom is fab. You need to be realistic.

Here's the good news:
- that's far better than my girl being treated badly by a new GF!
- I absolutely am her mother, she adores me - there's no competition.
- I'm not married to a cheating arsehole!!!

So... IMO and IME: it's tough, but it's worth it.

RueDeDay Tue 04-Oct-16 16:07:36

And on the other side, my daughter turned down a trip to Disney with her Dad and the OW new girlfriend. The 'things' they offer aren't a patch on the security she feels with me.

instantly Tue 04-Oct-16 16:11:28

I think you're having bonkers anxiety thoughts that make no sense.

Why are you using a hypothetical issue, which may not happen, and if it happens may not be an issue, to justify staying with someone.

Notwhatiexpected Tue 04-Oct-16 17:44:26

Is it bonkers to worry about what person my potentially STBXH might introduce into my kids lives? How I will feel about sharing my role as their caregiver? I don't think that's anxiety, I consider that my responsibility as a parent. To not consider it before leaving, and worry about that is crazy reckless.

MrsBertBibby Tue 04-Oct-16 17:49:00

I'm a step mum. I work really hard for my partner's boys, and being in the mum role is easy since I have a boy the same age as the eldest step, and they get on great. But as the elder one pronounced the other day, I'm "the other mum I don't love as much as my mum". And that's fine. I just wish their mum would relax, I know she is still anxious there's a plot to take them from her, (just no!) and stop trying to do stuff they've told her I've done, but just do things her way, because her way is great.

My advice to you is to have some faith in your kids, and yourself. Be the mum they know and love and trust. Let them go out into the world freely and confidently, knowing you've got their backs.

Shameandregret Tue 04-Oct-16 17:57:24

After reading your backstory I can see why you are in a massive anxiety shitstorm. Your situation would be intolerable to most people for a few weeks never mind months.

Where has the worry about another dp come in though? I'm confused about that x

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 04-Oct-16 18:13:22

My DD was 8 when ExH left for OW and became Disney Dad. DD is 13 now she sees all the way through the Disney thing and prefers the stability of nagging mum and homework.
Kids are smart they work it out.

instantly Tue 04-Oct-16 18:23:57

I disagree.

If you had to think through all the possible permutations of leaving before you left, you'd never go.

You leave because leaving is the right thing to do. You worry about a possible new partner when it happens. It might not happen. Are you giving this amount of thought to any possible new partner you may have?

StartledByHisFurryShorts Tue 04-Oct-16 18:50:38

Given your husband's rather niche interests, di you really think that its that likely he'll"easily" find another partner?

Cary2012 Tue 04-Oct-16 19:28:48

No, OP it isn't bonkers to me, I think it is very natural and understandable.

My kids are adults now but ex moved in with OW when they were mid teens and I won't lie, it bloody hurt knowing they were with ex's partner and him. But I have learnt that it's ok. Because she isn't me and never will be, because I'm their mum and nothing or no one will ever come close.

I wish our marriage had lasted, but it didn't. I am happy on my own, but didn't expect to be. I adapted, the kids adapted. Ex might stay with his partner, he might not. It doesn't matter. Our kids have two parents who put them first, she's as superfluous as she was before she came on the scene.

Yes your husband may move on, may meet someone who is part of your kids' lives. You will adapt. You might meet someone who will be like a dad to the kids, again, you'll all adapt.

You can't base your current unhappiness on future 'what ifs'.

You must never, ever, underestimate your role as their mum. Realise this, and all your concerns are gone.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now