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moving in with partner...

(12 Posts)
barcelosthehappychicken Wed 27-Apr-16 15:38:00


I wondered out there amongst you lovely step parents if you could give me feed back on making the move with your partner to living together.

As Ann aside, we have a special situation, live outside the UK, my partners DD 9 sees him every weekend. She is bilingual in his language (he's from another country) and her mothers language (German). He speaks 6 languages (bloody show off!)

I speak German badly, certainly not enough to build up a good relationship at the moment.

He speaks with his ex in English and with me in English. She won't speak German with him, just their language.

My DS 11 speaks English and German, when they play, it's in German.

So already lots of discussions on this. However, we all like each other very much, and some how have a great laugh and enjoy each other's company. In fact she is always asking when she can come here to see us.

But lots of conversations on what we will speak. Personally I feel that DS and I should learn my dps language because his family don't speak English and that's who we want to develop the relationship with, and also I get his DD it's his culture she wants at the weekends.

But I also feel that she should learn English to get more involved with my family in the UK who can't wait to meet her.

Does that sound fair?

Anyhooooo I'm digressing as usual. blush

We've been engaging more in the conversation of him moving in here and which bedroom she would have, both kids want a dog etc

At the weekend he mentioned that when we do move together I should meet his ex wife. They have an amicable relationship through gritted teeth. He pays maintenance, is a very good father and she has no complaints there. She has just married and is pregnant with her fourth child (3rd from her current partner). So get life is set up I think and they are independant apart from pick ups etc.

I have no problem meeting her, of course.

However he mentioned that it's only fair she should come and inspect my house and "check the ambience" etc and that it was suitable for her DD.

My ex is dating another woman, DS was unaware until he heard him skyping her. He hasn't met her yet but he asked me about her. I said that his dad was probably not sure if he was ready to introduce her yet and was just taking his time to make sure she was special enough to meet him. From my side (and I met her accidentally at a restaurant) if they wanted to move in together as long as my son came back happy and cared for I feel it's none of my business. I certainly wouldn't be insisting on inspecting their house.

Because I feel that when we split, I lost the right to make any demands on the father of my child.

So I'm just wondering if anyone else had the same demands made on them to make an open house for inspection? I'm quite a private person, and also what if she finds fault? Is she going to provide a fix it list we must adhere to? confused

The idea also is that I should also let her older half brother (4) come around and play with her when ever she wants. The mother often asks this of my partner at his place at the weekend, and brings the boy in the car for drop off where he screams and screams until he can go and play. On a few occasions my DP had complained because she's come back a few hours late and he's been looking after her son all day. Also at Christmas she needed to bring some medication for his DD and brought the one son over and insisted on going up to his apartment to let the boy play while she spoke to his parents.

I don't want to say no to the thought of this generally because it's my DPs daughters brother, but I also think it's a bit manipulative on his time and what will be my time. (Personally I'd leave the boy with his sister at home rather than him scream in the car and upset himself ).

I have to do a lot at the weekend, our time is quite organised and I am dreading being made to feel the bad guy because of the possible need to think, no, your DD is with her brother all week and a lot of holidays you shouldn't ask. . I feel like we need time to settle in to being a family and making our own lives before meeting the demands of others.

It's all a lot of prospective change, and DS and I have been through a lot lately. We want a peaceful private life. So I may be being a bit irrationally panicky.

Am I being a total bitch for having these thoughts?

Oh we also have to make plans for his ex's niece to stay for sleepovers too.

Do most stepfamilies do this?

It's all fairly new and potentially terrifying for me. Please be kind.


NAR4 Wed 27-Apr-16 16:16:35

Sounds like you have considered everything to try and be as much of a family for all the children involved as possible. Sounds like ex wife is taking the mickey a bit re childcare for her son, which is not your partners, but the house thing is purely down to you personally.

My partners ex wanted to see where I lived, as her children have visited a few times. She keeps her life with her new partner as none of our business, but expects her to adhere to her demands. She drops off her children with little or no notice because she has something that would be easier to do without them. I personally find the erraticness of when my partner has the children, frustrating. We have had to cancel our plans last minute many times because of them. My partner says he will never refuse as each time is more time with his children. I don't feel I can argue with that and just have to smile and suck it up. Bottom line is, I knew he had children and he is supportive of my children (who are not his). Partners ex inlaws came to see my house in the end because his ex didn't want to see me. Partners ex inlaws are very nice and we have spent time with them on many occasions. It works well as a kind of go between for both parties to feel happy about the situation, without the tension . Partners ex clearly has her childrens best interest at heart. I would love my own ex to be as accommodating as letting me see where he live, meet his partner etc. I can do this for my partners ex, so don't see why I shouldn't.

cannotlogin Wed 27-Apr-16 18:08:40

is your intention that mum should take her to lessons/pay for lessons/facilitate lessons in English in some way? Because I would personally tell you where to get off with that one if that's the case. What you do with my child when she's with her father is up to him, but I would not be facilitating her being fully integrated into the new girlfriends' family, no (and I speak several languages and am fully aware of the benefits!).

I wouldn't personally demand to see the new partner's home but I have heard of it happening. I don't like it - and I doubt I would do it myself - but if it facilitates a smooth blending of families, it is probably worth gritting your teeth and letting it happen. Prior to that, however, I would be looking very carefully at how your partner now handles his ex - is he prepared to challenge her on this? is he prepared to ask what happens if ex doesn't approve and/or just how far is he expected to somehow meet her expectations before their (joint) child is allowed to stay in a house you happen to be in. If he's not prepared to challenge, this tells you an awful lot about his relationship with his ex and what he's prepared to do/not prepared to do to support your relationship. How your partner handles the child that isn't his is also telling - it is kind (very kind) to have him to play and to look after him. However, there is a clear element of piss-taking on the ex's part. Again, I would look very carefully at how this is handled.

Because I feel that when we split, I lost the right to make any demands on the father of my child
I think this needs to come with a few caveats - it's not unreasonable to demand that there is decency and respect towards you within the children's earshot, that he turns up regularly to see his child, that he doesn't engage in dangerous or abusive behaviour when with his child, that he makes a fair financial contribution etc. etc. Of course, for many, this doesn't need to be said. But some people change beyond all reason following separation that some people do feel the need to make this kind of demand.

BlueberrySky Wed 27-Apr-16 18:34:39

That all sounds very unusual.

With regard to the languages. Yes, it would be nice if you and your DS learnt your DP's language, then you could all converse together. However, I do not see the necessity for your DSD to learn English so she can talk to your family. If she wants to great, but it should not be expected of her.

Moving in together can be very stressful. Try to make it as easy as possible.

The request for the ex to meet you and approve the house for her kids is very odd. What if she says no she does not want her kids there, will you then not move in together? Why give her so much power? Just because she is married and has kids with someone else does not mean she has released her hold on your DP. It sounds like she is used to telling him what to do and relies on him for childcare, it seems she wants that to continue and have you doing what she says too.

It will be hard enough adjusting to a new family life all living together. I would suggest that you keep his ex as far out of it as possible. Initially no half brothers, or nieces coming over.

My ex has never been in the home I share with DH and the kids. I have never been in his home. DH's ex did come to see the house when we moved in, she insisted, and I let it happen. In hindsight it was a mistake, she felt she could come over whenever she wanted. I soon put a stop to that.

barcelosthehappychicken Wed 27-Apr-16 19:56:01

Thanks - some great advice.

And no I'm not insisting she learn English and the mother pay for it!

I think when she's going to be in an environment where my family are here it might be a bit boring or frustrating for her to not understand English, just as it will for my DS to sit through a potential family Christmas in Portuguese.

barcelosthehappychicken Wed 27-Apr-16 20:00:24

Oh and my DP doesn't see it as anything with his Ex just that the little boy wants to be with his sister.

He loves children and that's what it is about for him. He kind of rises above his ex's behaviour on those occasions.

In terms of thinking about them as his daughters brother and sister, for example it's her birthday tomorrow and he will visit her after school to take her present. He will take an extra present each for the siblings so they don't feel jealous or left out.

In my mind, that's something the mother should manage. But saying it out loud makes me sound quite cold hearted. blush

dailyfailureismyname Thu 28-Apr-16 07:11:12

Gosh OP that all sounds very complicated. It seems that you and your partner have quite a different outlook on life. Considering the fact that you said you and your DS have had a hard time and now want a quiet and private life I think you should reconsider moving in.

Going against the grain I do think it is nice that your DP is trying to make his DD happy by including her siblings. He sounds very thoughtful and caring. "Compartmentalizing" families is very hard on children, who let's face it didn't ask to be in that situation, so I do think it is nice that there are people who do this. WRT his ex inspecting your home, I understand it sounds very invasive for you, but I also think it is nice that he wants his ex to see where their dd will be staying.

Regarding you wanting your DP's DD to learn english to communicate with your family, I think YABU. I think it is a bit unfair to assume that she wants to have a relationship with your family (although it is great that they are so keen to meet her) I'm all for learning new languages, but if my dad's partner was insisting on this so that I could communicate with her family I would have been a bit hmm

How long have you been together? It sounds like you are very keen to create a family setup but do be aware that this child has a fairly largish and unusual setup that you already have issues with. If you go ahead then I do think you need to be prepared to facilitate the things your DP has asked for (her siblings, her cousins etc) otherwise you will be seen as the wicked step mother. Also be aware that these extra people will have a big impact on your ds's home life.

BrandNewAndImproved Thu 28-Apr-16 07:17:09

I'd personally not move in with him. He sounds slightly under his exes thumb tbh. I wouldn't want to be with someone who actually suggested his ex inspect my house like that was normal.

barcelosthehappychicken Thu 28-Apr-16 07:37:16

Just to be clear, he didn't suggest. He said he was expecting her to ask, because she invited him to do the same.

Personally I think she did because she was pregnant before they were divorced, and had moved in with the guy when her daughter was very young and they were technically still married. She was worried that DP would fight for full custody of his daughter so wanted to make things as smooth as possible.

Because she invited him, he is almost expecting her to ask. He hadn't told me it will definitely happen, just that it was very likely she would be curious.

I've said we don't make an invite. He is happy with this. If she asks I will see how I feel. Because I'm happy to meet her first at a pick up and gauge how she is. I'm cautious because when she found out from her daughter that he had a friend she was questioning her about whether we were kissing, and then kept asking him about me. I found it a bit immature to be honest.

We will offer to do the pick ups and drop offs anyhow I guess, because by then she'll have a new born. Or meet halfway.

And no he's not under her control, for example when they married he wouldn't let his daughter lose his name as she wanted. She often wants to meet at a bar to talk and he says no, she wanted to make it a dinner party tonight and he said no, I'm here for my daughter only then I will go. He doesn't want a friendship with her.

I'm not instigating she learns English as a caveat. I may have written in a way that implies this. But no. She is learning in school anyway. She was very proud to count to ten for me a few weeks ago. smile

I'm talking about speaking it more in the house. My DP often slips into English without thinking around us, and she feels a bit left out, then everything is translated.

It's not a quick move to become a family. There is no rush to move in and it certainly won't be before Christmas. We are taking separate holidays still this year, for example.

We are just talking about all the potential pitfalls and effects that moving in could bring. Getting them all on the table now to deal with rather than entering into this with no forethought. People are unpredictable so what could happen. I am very different to his ex, and people don't react so well to change.

We haven't sat the children down and said we are moving in together. They have asked.

Appreciating all the feedback. smile

dailyfailureismyname Thu 28-Apr-16 07:41:10

That all sounds very sensible OP. Take things slowly and see what happens.

barcelosthehappychicken Thu 28-Apr-16 07:42:23

Oh and I gave no issues with her family set up.

I would just think it strange if my ex turned up with gifts for all my children.

Like I said, it's all new to me so I don't have an idea of normal.

But since I became a single parent dating another single parent the definition of normal goes out the window.

And if think it strange if my ex turned up at all to be honest. grin

And that's why I'm asking. Because my ex is a narc, my radar is thrown out. Our relationship isn't good and we are in court soon about that. So I have no idea what a good agreement is. My parents were acrimonious and so were my grandparents.

WannaBe Thu 28-Apr-16 14:59:13

TBH it sounds as if your DP has a very comfortable relationship with his ex and her children etc, which I don't actually think is a bad thing, but it sounds as if he is trying to make it look as if that which he is in fact comfortable with i.e. Looking after her kids etc to be her idea because he doesn't want to be seen to normalise this relationship.

It is normal for an ex to wonder about the woman who might be moving in with her children, but inspecting the home? Err no. And I speak as an ex not a SM. Just what is it she would be inspecting for?

As for the rest I would just not overthink too much, and bear in mind that the sibling, the cousin etc are all the DD's family rather than thinking of them as the ex's.

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