the big meeting da da duhhhhhh!(long)(35 Posts)
quick back ground... dp and i met online almost a year ago it soon became quite apparent that he had been in an abusive relationship for ten years. and was still sort of in it, still receiving abusive phone calls and texts and being screamed at in the street. any way we conducted our relationship pretty much away from that, he met my kids after a four months (by accident my ex h dropped them back early one day).
he was reluctant for me to meet his kids and i let it slide. his kids hid decision. (even though it left me feeling a bit insecure as i he had met mine etc)
then i got pregnant. he was booked in for a vasectomy so it was so not on the cards, but put a sudden time pressure on everything.
he still didnt want to tell his ex anything and didnt till i was 3 months (he admitted he was terrified of her reaction). he didnt tell her about me till then by which point we had been together for 10 months. she went mental.
she started to demand to meet me on my own, my phone number, my address were the kids went to school etc.
at first dp was inclined to say yes to her requests because he was just not use to saying no.i of course said NO, this would lead to hours of texting and phone calls, demanding her rights around her children etc.
she almost left the surface of the planet when she found out we were pregnant.
dp and i nearly broke up because i told him i didnt think he was ready to be out of his abusive relationship and having daily contact with an ex over a year after a break up was not normal, she uses the children to manipulate him in to giving her time and changing our plans.
he really opened his eyes to this though and is doing brilliantly now at telling her no and being strong though there are lapses cant beat 10yrs of conditioning over night. like the fact we are moving in together on Saturday "she does not want her children staying with a person she hasnt met" though i have stayed at his when they have been there and they have stayed at my house.
i would have been inclined to meet her earlier but to be honest i know she is going to make it difficult and the constant demands to meet alone for coffee to make her comfortable with the situation and the attempts to emotionally blackmail me in to doing so did not make me want to.
she has also demanded that my children and her children are not allowed to share a room for a year
so getting to the point, my dp said she could drop the kids off at the new house and we could meet then (no consultation grr) know it had to happen though. he also says to me that she will want to come in and see were the children are sleeping so, her words "she can visualise", were they will be sleeping he said he had to do that at the beginning when he moved out.
i said NO.
will meet at the door step say hi nice to meet you bla bla what ever. the kids haven't even seen their rooms yet if they want to show them to her at some point (as my kids will prob want to show there dad) then maybe but she isnt the queen and she doesnt get to demand access to my house. he said to keep the peace we should otherwise it will become a thing. but it our house right? he doesnt get to go in to their house.
he has demurred and said i am right but i am now feeling very flustered about the whole thing.
god this is so long sorry all, i should be packing. thanks in advance if you manage to wade through it all.
was going to do aibu but felt i need a bit more experience rather than judgement.
This woman do NOT need to have access to the interior of your home. Yes, she needs to know where you live, but you do not need to invite her in!!!! Stick to your guns. If you give in on this one, god knows what her next request will be.
Firstly, I expect putting it here rather than in AIBU was sensible!
It sounds like you are having a nightmare. I am glad for you that you have managed to open DP's eyes to his unhealthy situation. As you say he may have lapses, and you may have tricky times ahead.
This particular question is very difficult isn't it? And probably needs looking at from all sides. Also there probably isn't a 'right' answer, though, given the situation with DP's ex, it is may be better to stick to your guns as you are suggesting, then you can relax things as she adjusts to the new world, and learns the new rules of engagement!
On the other hand, her world has changed significantly and it may not be possible to change it completely. Would the best thing be, as you suggest, to say she can come in and see the rooms another time, but 'not today, thanks.' ?
However, this is your home as well as DPs and I think you are absolutely within your rights to keep her out completely if you so choose. Why exactly should be invited into your house if DP isn't invited into hers?
So, I realise I've given three different answers, mostly so I could consider them together. For me, on balance, I think I'm going with the last one! What's sauce for the goose is, after all, sauce for the gander. And most certainly, every time DP gives in to her, she will expect him to give in to her the next time.
Can I just say also, to demostrate that I am looking at it with a wide view point, I have little problem with having DH's exW in our house (though she isn't my favourite person in the world for various reasons), my exH is not allowed in our house for very good legal reasons, and I have never met exH's wife or been in their house - nor am I traumatised by not being able to visualise where my DCs sleep when they are there.
And it's up to DP and you what the sleeping arrangements are regarding sharing, not her.
And no, you absolutely do not have to meet her alone/for coffee. You, in fact, don't have to meet her at all if you don't feel comfortable.
I know that's a really long answer, and not terribly conclusive. TBH I rather feel for your situation and wanted to give you an answer of sorts, even if it is just to say that nothing you are suggesting appears unreasonable to me
thank you both for your reply's, its amazing they way everyone i speak to has to "handle" this woman. when she doesnt get her own way with him she phones his mum or if she thinks he is lying she will try and catch his mum or sister out. then they will phone him and be like x phoned she's really concerned. they all cant stand her but dont actually realise they are doing her dirty work by even phoning him up to say she has been in contact.
the fact is i do believe that i will have to take a strong stand with her or like his whole family i will end up doing what she want for a quite life.
if the children ask if mummy can see our rooms, thats very different isnt it, because thats them asking us because they are excited and us giving our permission if we dont mind. not it being demanded because she feels she has a right as a mother. it is her favourite line "spooks is a mother too i'm sure she understands"
no actually i dont. i would never do the things she does, it deliberate attempts to make someone else feel like shit in a power play. i can play the game but i dont really want to. pregnant, setting up a new home with a lovely guy, love his kids (though she is trying to make it hard for them bless them) just want everyone to move on with our lives <sigh>
you are welcome
And your point about the children asking is very valid. Yes, I think if THEY ask it would be difficult to say no without looking (and being, maybe) petty.
That said, I know of at least one person whose exH is not allowed across the threashold because her DH doesn't want her exH in his house, and that seems perfectly valid really, even if it is contrary to the way some other people would work. Her DCs would quite like their dad to see their rooms, but they understand the explanation that although they (the DCs) are common to both families, exH and his wife are one family and my friend and her DH are another and neither goes in each other's house because it is important to keep clear boundaries (possibly more so in your case), and that's just the way it is. This could possibly work for you as neither of you go in ex's house either.
Regarding the rest of the relationship with exW, she may never behave in the way you would choose. Do your best, try to understand how hard it is for him, encourage him to understand how hard it is for you, and try not to argue amongst yourselves about it too much - this stuff splits couples up if they let it get between them and begin to resent each other...children are often cited as the reason that second marriages are twice as likely to fail as first ones, but I strongly suspect that difficult relationships with exes regarding DCs, power struggles, resentment, bitterness, finance, jealousy etc are the main cause by far.
You've done so well and made so much progress already - well done. Do not allow this to happen. She has no right to enter your house unless YOU and DP decide. and if you do, only you chose how much of it she sees.
Have you demanded to see the rooms they sleep in at her house? No. And she shouldnt demand the same from you. Otherwise where will it end?
She sounds like an unhappy and manipulative person who should not be pandered to.
You've done great things already - I suggest you continue, otherwise your hard work and the ground you have gained already may be lost. She is nothing to do with you. Only the children are.
She has no reason to be there.
It sounds hard - and it sounds like you are doing your best to be lovely! but I wonder if he is also partly to blame here for her reaction.
The only reason I say this is that my dad spent years lying to my mum - saying he was too 'scared' to tell her about new partners - actually he was just making it harder for her by not being honest. His lack of honesty hindered her life, and made her far more upset when she did find things out - then she looked 'crazy' - but actually it was his own dishonesty that had contributed to this.
Part of her reaction may be a dynamic between the two of them - as you say, talking every day a year after a break up isn't normal- and he may well be addicted to the drama too (I'm not saying that's not a hard thing for him, but it could be part of it) . She may well have a quite different version of events.
he didn't allow her the normal process by which people cope with learning that an ex has a new partner - ie. you grieve/ you are hurt/ but by the time it reaches pregnancy you have dealt with some of the pain.
He is the one who should be communicating with her not you - be tough, make it clear what your boundaries are and then be tough with him too! Tell him there must be no more lying to her, communication should be kept to a polite level - and you may find that if she stops getting the usual dynamic from him, things calm down.
i was quite clear about that with him when we had a little tiff over it. that his inaction had caused this mass reaction because if he had told her he was seeing someone sooner then the pregnancy would not have to be said very soon after and everything would not have to be so rushed and changed for everyone.
i do not communicate with her at all and hope to keep it that way. he hasnt lied to her in regards to us he just never told her he was seeing someone.
the dynamic aspect is the control, she like to be in control of all situations including dp.
i do understand what you are saying here and it was my belief entering in to a relationship with someone that had kids and was divorced dont get involved there are two sides to every story etc but her behaviour is so extreme and goes so far as to send a four page scathing email to his mother after a family function about her not including her. i have met his mother and not met a more welcoming woman so yes two sides and i was very willing to be open to amicable relations with this woman but she does herself no favours, and though life is hard and being an ex is hard. i also know this from my ex having a new gf a month after him moving out, i have to stand up for dp and say he is often the one standing up for her behaviour and i am the one pointing out how unreasonable it is. hence why we sometimes have rows over it.
I got some good advice on here about not engaging with the Ex-W.
You sound like you are doing all the right things - just takes a while for your common sense/logical view to sink in with your DP I think.
Don't let her over the doorstep - go outside if you must, offer a hand to shake or a friendly smile and tell the DCs in advance that their DM is not allowed in your house, because it is your house and she has her own one, no great drama. If you let her in, you will have set the precedent with her and she will always expect these sort of 'concessions'. She and your DP are both the DC's parents. He is absolutely responsible for them when they are with you and she for them when they are there. No one has any 'rights' to see what or where they are sleeping/doing/living provided they are cared for properly. Repeat after me, this is your new home. You get to decide who enters it and her name is definitely not down on the list. Wishing you lots of luck ;)
Do not allow this woman into your new home.
It is not a reasonable "ask" and frankly, she sounds rather unstable. You are not demanding to see her home. I understand she would like to know where her kids will be, but she needs an address and contact number, that's all.
The issue here is control, really. She is so used to pulling her ex's strings and when she shouts jump, he asks "how high?" but he, with your help, can change that now. You must. Otherwise, you'll spend the rest of you days in an unhealthy menage a trois.
He has a new life with you and very soon, your child (congrats to you both). He must be in contact with his ex over their children. But that's contact, not submission to her every demand/mood.
update>>>> she is now refusing to bring the children on thursday because she hasnt met me yet , "like she has been asking for since july" and isnt comfortable with them having a sleep over.
she has however offered that DP go over to hers and give the kids dinner there and put them to bed etc ....?
we have offered the met up at drop off or pick up several times but because its not what she wants its not good enough. i suggested to DP that he tell her that she drop them off as agreed or he will come get them. or he is going to start seeking legal advice.
Sounds like extreme control freakery to me. No reason whatsoever for her to need to enter your home. Keep your foot firmly down on this one or it will never stop.
DH's ex took a very very long time indeed to learn that she could no longer control him
I think I agree with allnewtaketwo. And I don't think any court would uphold her demands.
no i dont think so either, he sent her an email last night asking her to uphold the agreement arrangement that they both have signed or he will be contacting a lawyer to make their arrangement legal.
i read the email she wants to sit down with me to discuss how i will look after her kids when i have a child with special needs (daughter is autistic) and she is the only one who is qualified to talk about their needs which is so disrespectful to DP.
so now we have to wait and see how this plays out i honestly cant believe how she is behaving.
Ridiculous not to let them stay because she hasn't met you yet. When they are with her, your DP has to trust her to make judgements about who they spend time with....if they went for a sleepover at a friend from school's house your DP might not have met the parents in question but would have to trust her judgement. Same thing here - if the kids are with their Dad, then she has to trust his judgement in who else they are introduced to.
And as you say, it is totally disrespectful to your DP that she has to sit down with you and discuss how they will be looked after. She seems to think that she is the sole parent and he has no rights at all - he is just as much their parent as she is.
I would stand firm on not letting her in too - explain to the children that this is your house, she has her house, you don't go in hers, so she doesn't come in yours.
Ooh so familiar! Dh's ex insisted on seeing my house when DH first moved in with me - spent 40mins rooting around and opening doors, requesting to see the bathroom where her darling son would be taking his baths...
She then decided it wasn't a fit environment for her son and refused to let him stay overnights anyway until taken to court. I am a very tidy person, have a weekly cleaner (just in case anyone wonders about my cleaning abilities!) and have a DD the same age as her son so it was also very safe. Just an excuse to nose around and with hindsight of several years of two-faced behaviour from her, I'd have told her to fuck right off.
On the other hand, I gather my house was much nicer than her squalid, messy, tiny flat so I get twisted satisfaction from knowing that she would have been horribly jealous.
She never even opens the door of her new place to DH so she has not been allowed in our new house either. These things too often only work one way.
Don't engage with her about "how you intend to look after the children". Presumably your DH doesn't 'interview' her partners, nor the school staff/her friends if and when they look after DD! You are the child's father's partner. It is his choice, as equal parent, to make sure his partners are suitable or not. Nothing to do with her
Excellent post Allnew. This needs to be nipped in the bud immediately, because if you give in on this point, I dread to think what her next request would be ..... asking to see your bank statements or your medical records?
I heard of one totally unstable woman who tried to insist that her ex shouldn't allow his partner to stay overnight on access nights, until she'd been CRB checked. It ended up that all this had to go to court to be sorted out. Needless to say, the mad ex was over-ruled, but that didn't stop months of upset and thousnads of pounds in legal fees.
yep i know we have to be strong he just isnt use to it. i made it very clear that we are not to make threats we have no intention of going threw with so if we say we will take her to court to get this sorted then we will have to do just that. but i also know unfortunately if we get this sorted there will just be something new round the corner.
I just hope your DP is strong enough to stand up to her. For some men, the thought of not seeing their children, can make them very irrational. In the early days, if the ex had said "stand on your head and paint yourself green" then I'm sure DH would have done it, if seeing his children had depended on it.
i hope so too petal, he got a reply to his email but as yet hasnt told me about it yet,, he said we would talk when the kids (mine) were in bed. i hope this doesnt mean he wants to do a 360 because she is sticking to her guns.
I hope so too, for you. Have you thoughts on how you will feel about/react to that, if that is what he wants to do? (apart from not having a huge domestic )
he doesnt want to thankfully though he feels totally helpless and doesnt really know what to do. he wants to go over and demand his children on thursday as per their arrangement. i am saying that wont achieve much beyond making him more angry when she refuses him.
on the other hand she has said he can have them over the week if he takes them to his parents would we be really wrong to say thats what he is going to do then...not?
I think I'd be tempted to not start lying - ie also playing games.
And even if that sounds easier for this week, it's going to cause more trouble for next week isn't it?
Hard as it sounds, my approach would be to play it with an absolutely straight bat. Obviously your DP has to deal with this rather than you. Doesn't he need to just explain calmly to her that he's her father, your his DP and soon their will be a step sibling, and that she can't dictate where he takes them when they are in his care (as long as it is safe)?
And that in no uncertain terms, if she messes him about he will be at a solicitor's quicker than she can blink.
i think probably this is a short term pain for long term gain situation...
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