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Any advice from anyone who's been in a similar position would be great - son not wanting anything to do with dad's gf/OW

(71 Posts)
FolkGirl Tue 14-Jan-14 07:27:37

My son is 15.

He doesn't want to see, or spend time with, his dad's girlfriend (who was the OW). His dad has told him that he can't make this decision forever and that he will have to spend time with her at some point. They have met, my son said he found her insincere and didn't like her. I told him she was probably just trying harder than necessary to make a good impression on him but he said he doesn't like her and he doesn't trust her and doesn't see why he should have to have anything to do with her. Exh and gf don't live together yet.

I have explained to my son, and my exH, that it isn't really the case that he can't make this decision forever. She's nothing to do with DS and he's of an age to decide for himself, but I understand why this makes things difficult for my exh.

I've also mitigated that by saying that the same would be true of any boyfriend I have - that he wouldn't have to see him. My son has said it would be different anyway because I didn't have an affair and cheat on anyone with the man I'm seeing.

So this isn't about him not wanting to spend time with his dad's gf, but about her being the OW. He doesn't respect his dad for doing what he did and reading between the lines from things he has said, he separates his dad from his actions, but having to see them together makes them inseparable and he doesn't like his dad when she is there either. He's met her twice.

Any suggestions?

KirstyJC Tue 14-Jan-14 07:31:52

That your ex understands that his actions broke up his family and that his DS doesn't like it. He needs to accept the situation is of his making. Presumably your exH thought this might happen when he cheated?

If they don't live together then surely they can figure out DS coming over without her being there? He may soften in time, he may not.

FolkGirl Tue 14-Jan-14 07:34:12

Just to add. He does love his dad and wants to spend time with him, but last night he relayed a story to me and put on the end of it, "I know it was a lie though. This is dad, you'd hardly call him 'Honest <name>"

This was to do with something in relation to his dad's gf.

He just doesn't respect him. His dad complains to me that DS doesn't respect him. He doesn't think it's right. He doesn't get that he lost that respect and that trying to play happy families with this woman is not the way to earn his respect back.

My exh has told me that he thinks that if DS spends time with her, he'll realise what a lovely person is and understand how happy he makes her. DS will understand then why he cheated and it will all be ok.

FolkGirl Tue 14-Jan-14 07:35:23

kirsty yes they do see him without her at the moment, but exh is keen to include her in their 'contact' weekends.

No, he didn't think it would happen when he cheated. He didn't think he'd get caught... hmm

FolkGirl Tue 14-Jan-14 07:36:11

Oh, and he won't accept the situation is of my making because he still maintains it was my fault he cheated in the first place. So if anyone's to blame, it's me.

FolkGirl Tue 14-Jan-14 07:38:12

And my fault I found out, and my choice to kick him out. In fact, all roads for splitting up the family lead back to me!

Would grin if it wasn't so bloody ridiculous.

JeanSeberg Tue 14-Jan-14 07:39:35

Fast forward 3 years and my friemd's son (18) now won't see his dad at all because of a similar situation. Dad now remarried.

You reap what you sow.

AtrociousCircumstance Tue 14-Jan-14 07:41:17

Seems like your son has the right idea about his father. He can't be trusted.

If your ex explained it to him in a way which accepted responsibility, maybe your DS would regain respect for him or at least a little.

As it is your ex will have to deal with the very real situation that he himself created.

gamerchick Tue 14-Jan-14 07:45:06

He's 15 he can make his own mind up.

Sounds like you had a lucky escape from your ex.. what a bellend hmm

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 14-Jan-14 07:51:35

I think you have to take the lead OP. Your DS is being loyal to you by taking the attitude he does and that's quite understandable. He needs your permission to like his Dad's new DP, as it were. He needs to know that, if he spends time with them. you're OK with it.

Lweji Tue 14-Jan-14 07:58:01

The only thing I can tell you is to stay out.

Don't defend him, don't try to explain, don't mediate. Listen to your son, but try to keep your opinions to yourself.

Your ex should be the one talking to your son and if he digs himself into a hole, it's his problem.

I know it's not so easy smile, but do try to stay out.

Drasticpark Tue 14-Jan-14 08:01:58

Folkgirl, I'm in the same position. My ds age 12 refuses to have OW's name mentioned let alone meet her. He unknowingly witnessed the affair as his dad would take him on play dates with OW and her dd. We even went on holiday together (with her H aswell). It was very fucked up.

XP rents a grotty flat and has ds there 3 nights a week. He spends the remainder of his time with OW. He's had this double life for 3 years. Very odd. But thankfully it's not my problem. Your ex has a cheek expecting you to try and sort this out for him. Your ds will make his own mind up.

beachyhead Tue 14-Jan-14 08:05:47

Chances are, that if your ex persists that he won't end up seeing your ds at all. I'm not sure why he can't see that.

I agree that it's not your battle. Just support your ds and encourage him to speak his mind to his dad.

FolkGirl Tue 14-Jan-14 08:18:32


Thanks for the replies.

yes, I think the only thing I can do is stay out. Unfortunately, I feel like I ought to try and mediate because DS isn't going to address it because he said the last time he tried to do that his dad sat looking sorrowfully at the floor for 10 mins saying nothing until DS relented. That wasn't gf related, that was about stopping overnight when DS didn't want to.

My exh won't address it because avoiding difficult conversations and not being able to hear things he doesn't like without getting cross are partly what contributed to the situation in the first place.

I have told him I'm happy for him to see them both but DS said that, with all due respect, he didn't care what I thought about it wink and that he didn't want to.

He's just come into me and mentioned it again. He said that when he sees his dad there are times when he forgets what he did and he's just 'dad' but that when she is there, and even the thought or mention of her, makes him feel very angry and he doesn't like his dad or want to be anywhere near him. He just wants to see his dad.

It's sad to hear that others have been in a similar position and the dads have pushed it to the point where the children don't want anything to do with them. I have warned exh that this could happen and he said he's prepared to give DS some time but isn't prepared to have him dictate how he lives his life or his choices as an adult.

It's hard to stay out of it though when I can see what's happening and ex can't. I didn't agree with the timing and circumstances for introducing to the children in the first place. We talked about it and I explained how the children might react, he said I didn't know what I was talking about and pressed ahead. I don't know what happened, but that was 2 months ago and this is the first time he's mentioned them meeting again. The worst thing is, the reason he wants them all to go out for the day soon is for DS's birthday!

LilyBlossom14 Tue 14-Jan-14 08:18:38

your son is 15 and is perfectly capable of making his own decisions - contact is with his father, not with the ow. Why does she need to be a part of it at all. Can't he put his own son first for a few hours?

My daughter refuses to meet the OW of my ex also - because of this her father won't see her at all. I cannot see it ever changing, my daughter is now 17 and knows her own mind.

And btw - please never ever take responsibility for what happened. Your ex was unfaithful because of his failings, none of it is your fault or responsibility. How dare he blame you.

FolkGirl Tue 14-Jan-14 08:24:22

Just to clarify in case it looks like I've contradicted myself - DS met her very briefly in the summer when he was somewhere with his friends and she came to meet exh there.

He said then he didn't like her. Then he spent the afternoon/evening with her, his dad and DD. And he still didn't like her.

DD did.

But then DD is desperate for me to have a boyfriend, she's 7 and just likes the idea of love and romance and having "someone else to play with."

FolkGirl Tue 14-Jan-14 08:25:50

Thanks Lily. I know it's not my fault. Getting my ex to see this, though, means he'd have to take responsibility. Whenever I've tried to explain, he just accuses me of trying to upset him and make him feel bad!

FolkGirl Tue 14-Jan-14 08:30:30

I also think that he still feels guilty for what he did (well he tells me he does) and I think that having the children accept her would validate his actions and take away some of the guilt.

I personally don't think that's the children's responsibility. But what do I know?

KirstyJC Tue 14-Jan-14 08:31:15

It sounds like you have had a lucky escape getting away from your ex - FGS how on earth can he make you responsible for his actions?!?

Thankfully you seem to have an extremely sensible and mature 15yo who knows exactly what happened and who was responsible, and is now acting accordingly. You can't force him to have a relationship with her, just don't get in the way (which it sounds like you're not). Don't let your ex push him, that's not fair and will probably end up with reducing contact, which no-one wants.

If ex doesn't like it, tough. He caused the problem, he lives with the fallout.

FrontForward Tue 14-Jan-14 08:31:45

It's tricky this because I think the best situation for your son is to feel free to like this woman or tolerate her and spend time with his dad without tension.

However your exH should put his son first and keep the woman away until your son is ready.

At 15 he knows his own mind and no one should try and push or influence him because that will cause him stress.

The person at fault here is his father who betrayed his mother and broke his family up. He can't hate his father easily so he's punishing him and making a protest against the woman. Your ex should suck it up as he was at fault.

Time does heal. The ex should recognise time is needed to heal the wounds he caused

Drasticpark Tue 14-Jan-14 08:33:48

He will blame you and continue to refuse to respect your ds feelings because if he doesn't he will have to face up to what he did and that he alone is responsible. It's about how he feels about himself. He's trying to justify what he did and avoid accepting the responsibility. He wants your ds to approve to ease his own guilt.

Also, your ds may be doing what my ds does - projecting all his anger and disapproval on to the OW because it's just too painful to accept that someone you love very much is actually capable of being so deceitful.

FolkGirl Tue 14-Jan-14 08:34:55

FrontForward That's exactly how I feel. On every count.

I think I've probably been guilty of trying to let him know I'm ok with it (I'm not) so that he doesn't feel he can't out of loyalty for me.

But perhaps the best position is to be an impartial (as possible) sounding board for him in order for him to clarify his thoughts, but then to encourage him to speak to his dad.

Which I do do, but he's resistant to it because he doesn't like the way his dad reacts. I don't want him to feel coerced in either direction.

LilyBlossom14 Tue 14-Jan-14 08:37:03

no it isn't your children's responsibility to validate his life choices. Cliche but your ex is now reaping what he has sown - it is not up to you to fix it, just to support your children in any way you can. Your ex, putting it bluntly, is no longer your problem.

Like I said to my ex, he wasn't thinking of his children when he was being unfaithful, why pretend to be father of the year now. Doesn't work like that does it.

Your ex sounds exactly like mine - can't live with the guilt of what he has done, and the pain he has caused, and expects our daughter to make it all ok by accepting him and his ow - I doubt it will ever happen. My ex cannot cope with our daughter having an opinion so refuses to see her unless it is on his terms - he just looks like an inadequate bully and my daughter just cannot be bothered any more and has no respect for him at all.

FolkGirl Tue 14-Jan-14 08:38:29

Yes Drastic I think that's exactly what's happening.

It's so annoying.

I have been in my son's position. My exh has not. I have insight into how the children feel. My exh does not. From things he has said, I think his gf has a better insight into it (she was also the child in a similar situation) but when he tells me what she has said, it's clear he's only hearing what he wants to.

So the children are unhappy but eventually they just have to deal with it rather than the children are unhappy. Iyswim.

FolkGirl Tue 14-Jan-14 08:40:09

Yes, it does sound similar, Lily. How can these men be so emotionally inadequate that they can't see it, or accept it as a possibility.

I tried the "you weren't thinking of the children" line, but that didn't go down at all well...

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