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boyfriends ex wont let his children visit

(44 Posts)
Sammieh86 Wed 27-Mar-13 13:30:01

Hi all

just need a little advice really, ex pays child maintenance, and sees his kids as much as he possibly can, supports both his ex and there children in whatever way possible - amazing daddy!!

the ex is aware that we are together and also that we are in talks of moving in together - been in a relationship since august - but she will not even let the children come for tea with us, has said it will never happen

i have made it clear to my partner that they are more than welcome at any time she may need the support or when he wants them to visit but she is making this pretty impossible as she hates the idea of us being in a relationship

i dont push it with him, as i have been throught this myself and feel that it is something that him and his partner are to sit and talk through -- but i do feel that if he is serious about us and our relationship that this has to be sorted soon so that there is no confusion

any advice greatly appreciated

thankyou xxx

KirstyoffEastenders Wed 27-Mar-13 16:58:22

Sammie I feel your pain, I'm in exactly the same situation. She is refusing to let their daughter come to our house or spend any time with me. We've been together since last May and I've met the daughter twice. He's only allowed access at his Mother's house, once a week.

I find it very difficult to not go on about it too much with my partner because it's so frustrating but I'm just trying to be supportive while raging inside. At least the divorce proceedings have started and they have to go to mediation so I really hope she will concede sooner rather than later.

AmberLeaf Wed 27-Mar-13 17:05:46

It is a fairly new relationship as far as introducing children goes though, with regard what the EX has said about not wanting you to meet/spend time with the children, was that said to you? do you speak to her/have you met her? or did it come via your boyfriend?

Booyhoo Wed 27-Mar-13 17:25:25

can i just say that going to court doesn't necessarily mean a good relationship cant develop over time afterwards. yes court is awful and it stirs up alot of bad feeling but after time, if both parties are willing, things can get better and become amicable.

dignifiedsilence Wed 27-Mar-13 17:36:10


If for example the separation of the parents has caused the children undue distress then all ex couples in this type of situation should deal with it in an adult way and discuss it. I am the resident parent for my daughter and probably know more about her and how she ticks than her dad does. That however does not give me the right to dictate who is around my child when he has access to her. I trusted him enough to have a baby with him and just because it didn't work out for us it doesn't give me the right to tell him what to do. I have to trust he does the right thing by her.
Now if for example he had a new girlfriend every couple of months or so then I would find that inappropriate and would expect him to meet with me to discuss. As an absolute last resort would I start issuing solicitors letters or involve court action because how is that in any childs best interests?
I'm not saying all but what some people seem to forget is that once people separate they begin to live separate lives and how we do that is up to ourselves. With the exception of the obvious no one has a right to interfere and with hold contact unless it is a case of abuse or instability ie the non resident parent not turning up on a regular basis etc.
I believe personally that someone you have been seeing a few months whom you have made plans for the future with is a stable enough relationship for a child to be part of. Why can't they say that he/she is mummy/daddys friend if its early days? To me its no different than if you take your children to a friends of the opposite sex to pay with their children??
As a generalization SOME women do use these poor kids for their own selfish reasons and that is totally unacceptable. They can say what they like to their solicitors and courts and because they are the resident parent its listened to.

How is that in the childs best interests? Because thats what this is all about.

NotaDisneyMum Wed 27-Mar-13 21:52:00

sammie If your DP is scared of how his ex will punish him if he doesn't 'do as he is told' then nothing will ever change for you.
If you and your DP move in together, his ex will continue to influence every aspect of your life. Neither you or he will be able to enforce house rules, go where you want to go with the DCs, spend time doing activities you wish to - because your DP will constantly be thinking about 'what his ex is going to say'.

Lots of SM live like this - and for many of them, it contributes to the end of their relationship/marriage.
You have a chance to put boundaries in place now, before your life and your DPs become enmeshed.
When I realised how manipulative and downright abusive DPs ex was, I put the brakes on our relationship and made it clear that until he sorted out those issues, I wasn't prepared to move in with him.
When my DP stopped dancing to his ex's tune, she did withhold contact and they did end up in court. He now has a regular contact schedule which his ex has tried to ignore, but after being warned, has not breached.
We moved in together and although it has been anything but plain sailing, the court order has given DP the confidence to do the right thing rather than living in fear of his ex.
I wouldn't choose to share my life with a man who is scared of the actions of another woman but who refuses to address that fear.

eslteacher Wed 27-Mar-13 22:50:41

Well I met my DP's DS after 4 months or so I think, and I moved in after about 8 months. It worked out fine, after some teething problems which I think were mostly my internal struggles more than anything else. But then DP's ex didn't have any problem with any of this, and was in fact very welcoming. Maybe it helped a little that she had already met someone else and settled down / had another child with them quite quickly. But she's also just a very nice, reasonable person.

OP, I might think 'fair enough' if the ex had said she wasn't comfortable with you having tea with the DC yet. But the fact that she said it will never happen sets alarm bells ringing. You only have to read a few threads on this board to see how this could end up going in the long term.

How long ago did she and your DP split up? And does she have / has she had a new relationship of her own? Maybe if the answer the the second question is 'no', then once she does meet someone, she will be able to see it more from the other side, of introducing DC's to a new partner and letting that partner into their lives without feeling threatened.

I'm no expert, but I'm not sure that you can start suggesting rules or trying to intervene directly with the ex. Unfortunately I'd say all you can do is make it clear to your DP what terms you can envision going forward with, but if he doesn't then manage to find a middle ground between what you need, what is best for his children, and what his ex is prepared to concede, and/or what the courts are prepared to don't really have any choice but to walk away or continue living a life of uncertainty and frustration.

brdgrl Thu 28-Mar-13 00:51:32

I wouldn't expect to meet my partner's kids 6 months in - isn't the perceived MN wisdom that a year is about right?

Really!!?? A year? I've never heard/read that from a professional counsellor, although I have read in a few places the advice that a divorced or bereaved person wait a year to start dating (a different issue!). I think that most counselors would suggest that the individual circumstances (how did the parents' relationship end; how old are the kids; what have the kids expressed) are more important than a prescribed length of time. What nearly every "expert" says is that it is a good idea not to introduce the new partner to the kids until the relationship is "serious".

Personally, I think a year would be far too late, in many cases (I'm qualifying my statement because as I have just said, individual circumstances will vary!).

The dynamic between a new partner and your children is so important; and you can only know how it is going to go once they've met! If it turns out to be a poor dynamic, and it is clear that the relationship can't proceed, you need to know this before you and your partner have invested a year or more in a dead-end relationship. The kids deserve to meet the person who is, presumably, a major part of your daily life. And vice versa. Not to mention the logistics of dividing one's life into 'kids' and 'partner' over such a long period of time. And what if you are the residential parent?

I met my DH's kids ('officially', I'd bumped into him and his daughter once on the street and been introduced) about 4 months after we started dating. We knew it was serious, we were exclusive, and we were beginning to plan a future together. That point - planning a future together - meant I had to meet his kids. We took things more slowly when it came to my staying at their house, or moving in together, or my beginning to play a 'parenting role' with the kids...but just meeting them? Any longer would have been too long, I think. They were preteens, and needed to meet me.

My DH has his kids full-time. It would have been ridiculous and impossible to sustain a relationship without meeting the kids! And really unfair to them, I think, to be so excluded from their dad's life.

Sammieantha86 Thu 28-Mar-13 07:59:37

Ohh noo she made it very clear i have message on my phone saying that if her child ever mentions my name id better watch my back -- please note i never text back

I have never been happier than i am right now with this man we just clicked and thats all i can say really i wont lose him over this i will be right by his side

I just hope that it is sorted soon, frustrating but just dont see what i can do xx

allnewtaketwo Thu 28-Mar-13 08:19:42

"i have message on my phone saying that if her child ever mentions my name id better watch my back"

Sounds like she's ready to cause you all as many problems as she possibly can. I'm sorry but that's unlikely to change. I think it's a big mistage to try and reason with unreasonable people. I think the options are:
- formalise through mediation/court route and limit the occasions where any contact with her takes place, OR
- run for the hills. This situation will always be somewhat of a nightmare. Option A will only reduce the impact it has on your life, but by no means eliminate it

ladydeedy Thu 28-Mar-13 15:30:14

Gosh there are some weird things being said on here!
First of all, as others have said, the ex does not "own" the child and "allow" things or not.... The idea of waiting a year or waiting till the ex is happy with your DP introducing you to the kids is nonsense. you and DP decide. It is absolutely nothing to do with the ex. She is trying to control things when she should realise she is not in a relationship with your DP anymore!!
DP needs to get regular schedule of seeing kids and should introduce you. Easy to say but please do not fear the ex and her threats. She should not dictate what goes on with your relationship with your DP. He can go to court, and as others have said, that doesnt mean he and ex cant have a better relationship in time.

dignifiedsilence Thu 28-Mar-13 18:23:41

Well said ladydeedy. He should have had regular and consistent contact well before you came along hun. Unfortunately for people like us our DP's have done anything to keep from rocking the boat which ensures utter carnage for us ladies who have dared to enter this mans life and mess on her territory.

NotaDisneyMum Thu 28-Mar-13 18:57:09

dignified that is probably the best way I have ever seen that explained - brilliant!

AmberLeaf Thu 28-Mar-13 20:15:06

OP, I might think 'fair enough' if the ex had said she wasn't comfortable with you having tea with the DC yet. But the fact that she said it will never happen sets alarm bells ringing

Yes, that is very unreasonable.

Her contacting you and making threats is also totally out of order.

How does she have your phone number?

I think Id be very wary of getting involved in a situation like this.

Ultimately though, your boyfriend should have a routine established for contact including overnights.

Does your boyfriend live at his Mums then?

How long is it since they split up?

dignifiedsilence Fri 29-Mar-13 12:22:28

Thanks NADM flowers Its difficult though isn't it? We walk into this with no experience of such a toxic situation and find it driving us round the bend because unlike our DP's they are so desensitized to it, it has become a way of life for them and they cannot see the long term damage. Best thing to do is to encourage your partner to take ALL the emotion out of it and look at it practically. That is 1 way of ensuring his main priority is his children and not pleasing someone who clearly doesn't have their childrens best interests at heart

Xalla Tue 02-Apr-13 07:07:15

Sammy I agree with the others before me who have said your DP needs to start initiate the mediation / court process asap to get a regular pattern of (staying) contact established at his own home. It is true that your DP does not need to ask his ex's permission for his children to meet you; he is their parent in the same way she is; presumably they both have PR hence they have the same responsibilities to their children. You'd be amazed how much unreasonable behaviour can dissipate with the threat of court action looming.

I've been in your shoes; 7 years down the line my DH has 50/50 contact with his DD. It's not all plain sailing but we're no longer controlled by my DH's ex; my DH allowed her to call the shots for a while when contact was first getting established but as soon as it was, he stopped pandering to her unreasonable demands, called her bluff when she played games, refused to enter into text wars etc. It worked and she doesn't try anymore.

Court-ordered contact CAN improve things in my experience. Obviously it's not ideal and at the time it's hideous but in the long-term, it was an important step in my DH and his ex calling a truce.

wannaBe Tue 02-Apr-13 07:33:42

I don't get this notion that the mother somehow has the right to dictate when and where the children are allowed to meet a new partner. If a rp moved a new bf in every five minutes the nrp would have no say in that but somehow because it's the mother this should be viewed differently? bollocks. I get that if you start seeing someone then the preferred course of action would be to advise the ex before introoducing them to the kids, but it is in fact not her business if you introduce ten women a month to the kids. She might not approve but as long as an ex isn't introducing criminals to his/her kids there's nothing they can do, and they have no right to withhold access just because they don't like it.

Op I would get your dp to go to court and establish a regular patern for
access with overnights included.

As for waiting a year to introduce the kids - that is ridiculous. A relationship can be well established within a year, if it has no future because of issues with the kids better to discover that sooner rather than later. Of course that doesn't mean you start staying overnight straight away or moving the new partner in but simply introducing kids it is completely ridiculous to suggest you wait at least a year.

VBisme Tue 02-Apr-13 07:33:45

Please go carefully on this, notadisney is absolutely right, if he won't stand up to his ex you will get more frustrated at the situation.

I'm 5 years in, and it's hard. It's only manageable because DH and I are a team (most of the time), and agree what we will and won't accept together.

He needs to suggest mediation in writing (courts look for an attempt at solving disputes outside court), when this is rejected, go to court and self represent.

dignifiedsilence Tue 02-Apr-13 09:36:01

Wannabe you are so right...well said. Courts are heavily weighted on the mothers say so and I'm not saying ALL but lots of public money has been spent on women who just won't let go of the ex. I'd be ashamed if it were me. After legal aid has been scrapped for these matters hopefully this will ensure these silly women give up and truly concentrate on what matters. Its just a shame that funding isn't available for people with genuine concerns. Anyway unless they are prepared to dig deep and pay to make our lives a misery then I'm hoping we can live in peace now.
When all is said and done its the child that suffers and in years to come she will see the pure venom written about me and her dad through solicitors letters. Wonder how she will explain that?

Jan45 Thu 04-Apr-13 13:05:55

You've moved in together after 6 months??? If that's right, it seems pretty quick so don't expect the ex to react that quick in wanting her kids there with you two together. As has been said, welcome to the world of blended families, you're already feeling the stress of it, I hope you're ready for the long haul as it prob won't get that much easier! Sorry, just being honest, leave it up to them both, the problem with most of us women is we like to get involved, to feel some control over the situation, in your case, forget it, keep out of it, leave them to it but remember you'll have to listen to your OH constantly moan about her, there's always two sides to every story too.

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