Should I maintain a relationship with my exs child?

(16 Posts)
Shoulishouldnti Wed 03-Feb-16 12:21:41

Looking for some advice here for all you knowledgable SP. I was with my exp for 4 years. He has 2 children by his exw. Our relationship finished semi acrimoniously, we are still in touch by phone/text but only over practical things. We lived together so there have been things to sort out.

I had a great relationship with his children especially the older one, she is 10 now. I thought when we finished that I would most likely never see them again and although that has been very hard I have been dealing with it. He is now suggesting that the older one misses me a lot. That she tells him all the time she misses me and wants to see me. It has been suggested by him that I take her for a few hours one weekend they are at his, perhaps to the cinema or out for food.

Have any of you been in this situation and kept a relationship with your SC? I don't want to confuse her or (selfishly perhaps) upset myself. I worry that as soon as I see her the feelings I have for her will develop again and I'm aware her father could stop contact at any time again if he wanted.

Any advice? Maintain a friendship with the child or just forget about it?

Heavens2Betsy Wed 03-Feb-16 12:29:16

Tricky. I kept in contact with my ex's DD but she is in her 20s now and she was a teenager when we split so we arranged contact between us (without her arsehole of a dad knowing!)
I wouldn't have been able to see her if she had been 10 because that would have meant maintaining contact with her dad and that was not an option.
If you are amicable with your ex (and his ex) it could work but it would get awkward when new partners are bought into the mix and she may get more hurt then.
TBH in this situation I'd gently but firmly cut the ties for her sake.

ChilliMum Wed 03-Feb-16 12:36:46

I am not a step parent so I have no experience to offer, however I am a mum to an almost 10 year old who would find an abrupt end to a relationship confusing and upsetting. I think you sound like a lovely step mum and think that there can not be too many people in a child's life who love them. At the same time I understand and agree with your reservations. Could you maybe offer a compromise such as a pen friend then she gets to keep you in her life but you are both protected from the emotions that contact would undoubtedly bring.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Wed 03-Feb-16 12:37:30

Agree, very tricky. Although she may well miss you, your Ex and you are still fresh, there a lots of untested situations ie new partners etc, and she could get quite hurt being in the middle of all of those future transitions.

I would leave it quite a while and if you do keep in contact, think very carefully about how you will, preferably in a way that is as far away from going around the house, seeing her Dad, keeping up with him etc.

Epilepsyhelp Wed 03-Feb-16 12:41:47

I keep in touch with my exes two, they're teenagers now and it's great to take them out for lunch or dinner now and then. I think it would have been emotionally worse to just cut the relationship off, I was part of their lives for 6 years and have a great relationship with them. I don't have to worry about any step parenting either!

Shoulishouldnti Wed 03-Feb-16 12:59:31

Thanks a lot for the advice, it's great to read because it sounds like you guys understand to an extent. Their mother and I never got on, she never gave me a chance and the way she treated my exp really never made me warm to her. It's fine, that's just how it was. It worked out well because we had nothing to do with each other in the latter years. Literally no communication between me and her, suited us both fine and worked well. I have read in a message that she is delighted our relationship is over and hopes his next GF isn't an ugly bitch like me hmm anyway, I couldn't care less about her opinion of me, She is a good mother but doesn't really factor into this decision. He is a good father and I trust if he has suggested communication then he has their best wishes at heart. I still love her father, as does he me but we can not be in a relationship due to unresolved issues he has. It has been fairly amicable but we have pretty much stopped all contact now, like I said, unless it is a practical issue. It is so very raw, I know I would never get back with him but it would be heartbreaking for me to have to see him at this point, I do worry about the DSD though. I've had RL friends saying 'don't be stupid, just be done with it', while others are saying 'of course if she misses you you should see her, she is only a child'! I understand both positions.

I don't think it's the best idea at the moment. Of course I could take her out for a few hours, have some fun grab a bite to eat and I'm sure that she would love it, I just worry if I will go back to the empty home we shared and be an emotional slobbering mess again. As I'm typing I know the answer is to not even go there just now anyway. I suspect in the long run it will be me that gets hurt and, although it might sound selfish, I need to look after myself now.

Shoulishouldnti Wed 03-Feb-16 13:02:59

If she were older it wouldn't be such a problem but she has only turned 10 last this week, she is very young and has had a big upheaval in her life. I would do anything to help her and if taking her out for a burger and a catch up would be the difference in her being happy I would put my own feelings aside and do it in a second. I'm just not convinced she is so upset to the point I need to forfeit my own 'getting over it' if that makes sense. I think I'm rambling, it's hard to explain.

CantWaitForWarmWeather Wed 03-Feb-16 14:42:16

If me and DP were to split I don't think I would maintain a relationship with dsd. She's also 10. Her relationship with her brother's would be maintained through their dad.

swingofthings Wed 03-Feb-16 18:04:32

Not in the situation of the ex step-parent but the child. When my mum separated from her partner when I was 12, I was heartbroken and missed him very much. I desperately wanted to ask my mum about seeing him again, but was scared to upset her. One day though, I broke down and told her. She was very sympathetic and said that I could try, but that she didn't think he would agree. I thought she was saying that out of spite, but unfortunately, she was right as when I called him, he acted all cold, fobbed be off about being busy and then hang up before I could even find the courage to say I missed him. He broke my heart a second time. However, I did get over it and in the end, think it was better this way than if he had agreed to see me, once or a few times, to then decide that he didn't really want to do so regularly.

I think you need to think of what you want to do. Don't meet with her just to please her, but do go ahead if you think you would like to maintain some sort of relationship, even if it is to keep in touch by phone/email, and see her once in a while.

Shoulishouldnti Wed 03-Feb-16 19:33:43

That must have been tough swing. I grew to love his children very much and since we split I miss them a lot. I still have pictures of them up. I just presumed that he (ex) wouldn't want me seeing them so it never came up. Not only was I mourning the end of our relationship but loosing the children too. My worry, I guess, is for myself. She isn't my child but I love her very much. At any point her dad could turn round and stop me seeing her again if say, he meets someone new. I don't think I could deal with that. I know that sounds selfish. I really don't know what to so for the best

RebootYourEngine Thu 04-Feb-16 11:36:44

I think that it would be nice but also confusing for her. If she was older and could maintain an relationship independantly that would be different.

However i am quite cynical and think that your ex would use it as an excuse to get free time or go out with a new partner and you would end up as an unpaid babysitter.

lunar1 Thu 04-Feb-16 13:37:42

I'm still in touch with the former step mum I liked, from when I was 8/9. My dad wasn't happy, neither were the next two step mums so we lost contact for a bit. We are f/b friends and meet for lunch if we are ever in the same place. It may be that you just have to make sure you can be found on social media when she's old enough.

I really think some people need to think it through when they introduce step parents to their children's lives.

My mum went through a rocky patch with my step dad, I was about 19/20. She kept saying but it doesn't matter, he wouldn't be your step dad any more we wouldn't need to see him! I made it very clear that he would come first if she played games and forced us to chose. They worked it out and have been fine for 15 years now but I think if she'd have been able to just cut him out she would have at that point. I made sure she knew he would be at my wedding, be grandad to my children and everything else that came with him being my dad.

NotEnglish Thu 04-Feb-16 14:05:28

I still have contact with my 'stepfather' and I'm in my 30s. My mother and he split when I was 13. He says I might not be his biological child but child of his heart. His wife hates me and the fact that he has contact with me.

Keeptrudging Thu 04-Feb-16 14:12:33

I would meet her, she's 10 and you've got a bond. I would be heartbroken to never see my DSDs again, we've been 'family ' for years. Even an occasional meet up/text/social media would be enough to help her know that you still care about her. It's not a huge ask for someone you care about.

Jw35 Thu 04-Feb-16 14:12:54

I think it's a separate relationship to you and your Ex and there's no reason for it to end if you both don't want it to. If your ex is cool about that then personally I think that's lovely. I wouldn't worry about what 'might happen' just do what feels right

swingofthings Thu 04-Feb-16 19:02:18

She has asked to see you, you want to see her, her dad has suggested himself that you meet. Go ahead and do it. I expect he has agreed to suggest it because he wants his daughter to be happy regardless of his feelings, so that shouldn't change even if he meets someone new. Most importantly, it might very well be that this doesn't happen for some time, but which she will be older and he will struggle to stop her seeing you.

Who knows what the future will bring, maybe you will both go your own way naturally, or you will grow to be very close. As it stands, live for the present.

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