Starting off on the right foot...(17 Posts)
I've been up half the night thinking about this so have decided to ask MNetters for thoughts/opinions before I lose my mind!
I'm separated from DH - his very sudden decision after fourteen years together, eleven married - and my gut is telling me that the much-denied OW is going to appear as a NewGF to our kids, before this Xmas.
ExDH and I have three children between 8 and 11yrs.
If my gut is correcf, I really want to attempt to get this 'right' for my children. I want to be one step ahead of how this works. I don't want to be her best friend but I would like to think at some point over the next eight or so years of co-parent, we'd be able to exchange a text message woman to woman over what trainers DD might like, for instance
So how do I make that happen? Or maybe my question is how at least do I allow it be something that might be possible in the future?
Or am I insane and that just doesn't happen?
I'll be honest me & DSD's mum don't really have much to say to each other, DP & his ex discuss things like trainers, not me. She has text me a couple of times about DSD & puberty, and we get on well enough at hand overs, but the way I see it is DSD has two parents that make the big decisions, and when she's here DP and I make the decisions, as the adults. All the adults in her life love her very much and want what's best for her but that doesn't tend to involve much chat. DP doesn't have much to do with dad's stepdad either.
No offence - but why on earth would you need to speak to each other? Unless there is an emergency of some kind.
To be honest why do you even need her number? I don't have my ex's DW number contact is through him although on occasion she has collected but mostly it's between me and ex. The DC are older enough to be asked themselves what they want.
Honestly, just be yourself. Arrange access with your ex, don't be difficult. Both of you need to be flexible and don't try and deliberately make anyone's life hard (not saying you would at all but many do)
I think just be civil and see where it goes. Not to be awful but she might not want to know.. Your ex could have told her anything.
She might not be around that long, anyway. All my friends whose husbands left them for OW didn't end up with the OW long term.
So I would do or say anything that encourages your DC to view her as a long-term addition to the family. Not initially, when she's just a girlfriend.
I'm friends with DSS's mum. But I wasnt the OW.
I was able to make friends with her, because she and DP remained friends when they split. So I was always aware they were still friends, but she let me slowly develop my own relationship with DSS without comment or hindrance or asking to immediately meet me, she was always reliable yet flexible re contact, DP reported she was happy he has found someone, she never gave me any reason to have any problem with her at all! We first met about 6 months after I had met DSS, at his birthday party, and she was incredibly nice and welcoming. Over the years we have naturally become friends.
But your situation is very different if your suspicions Are correct. Are you and your STBE actually still on good terms? Will you remain that way if it does indeed transpire he had an OW?
I think at first you should just be civil, don't go around trying to set up a meeting with her, or get her phone number. And try to remain civil with your ex too. Don't pump the children for info about her, but remain open minded as to how their relationship might develop. Get off to a good start re contact. And that is really the best you can do to begin with I think. You'll have to see how things go.
RedKen Bubblegum I don't know TBH In fact, you've made me feel much better that I don't need to be adding this to
my list of worries - thank you.
Actually thank you to all of you. Bloody marvellous MNet once again - much better opinions than the middle of the night googling I was doing of a situation that hasn't actually happened yet.
hands self a large grip
I always had a cordial relationship with my DSS's mum, but then the circumstances were different - she had left my DH 10 years previously for her now DH. We used to text and coordinate gifts and so on. Not sure I would be magnanimous enough to do the same if DH were to leave me for another woman.
What you are going through is tough...
But a lot of us have been single parents, it is possible to be happy and stable again! If you are thinking of how to make it work, then you sound like a very reasonable and fair person.
I'd be thinking of what what works for you and the kids first and foremost. Keep the boundaries good and everything very clear and simple would be my advice! If 5 years down the road your Ex DH and any possible GF (whether it turns out to be OW or another one later) - if it is respectfully working well, then is the time to try a very loose, distant, cordial communication. But I would have thought that came LAST.
Get a visiting schedule that works for you and the kids, keep it really clear and worked out in advance. Talk to lots of people about what works for them. Don't give more than you feel in your heart would be right. Get yourself sorted, build up your confidence, enjoy your kids.
I have an interesting perspective on this from my DD. Having had an awful time from my DSC's Mum, when a step-mum for my daughter came along I decided that whatever happened we were going to get on (and no, she didn't get a choice in this!).
From the first time I met her I was friendly and open, included her in decisions and let her know how grateful I was for what she did for DD, and I spoke about her positively to DD so she was aware how I felt (I basically did the exact opposite of what my DSC's mum has done to me).
DD experienced a really positive friendly relationship between both her parents and step-parents - and has mentioned many times how glad she is we all got along, were friends on facebook, went out for meals together and didn't argue etc. In comparison my DSCs have often asked me why we don't do the same stuff with their Mum - its impossible to explain that the same hand of friendship was offered to her repeatedly and she chooses not to take it.
Yes, I had to swallow my tongue at times, and things weren't always done how I would have liked, but it has been totally worth it in terms of knowing that when my daughter was with her step-mum, there was no axe to grind with me so they could just be friends and get along together.
Sadly ex and wife split up in pretty tragic circumstances, DD was very upset but she has stayed in contact with her (former) SM, as have I. Demonstrating very clearly to my DD that I was going to get on with her SM and I hoped she would too meant she was freed up to build a positive relationship with her - as a result she now has another adult in her life that she can turn to in times of need.
OP, you have a massive role to play in how your DCs get on with any future SM, I really hope that you are able to build a positive relationship because I think it can benefit you and your children massively. (Oh, and I found it REALLY useful being able to make arrangements with someone reliable - ex has the shortest memory and will not write anything down!)
Good luck and look after yourself
You clearly mean well but that won't make it all go well on its own. You'd think that most SM to be would be pleased that you would want to work with them to make co-parenting work. The reality is that whereas that could very well be the case, others will see your goo intentions as an intrusion to their life. They might be a bit insecure and you being 'all perfect' might just put them on the defensive.
I think the best thing to do is to take it as it comes.
Definitely take it as it comes. It's enough to be civil and not to bad mouth her to your kids - just behave like an adult really . Anything else is a bonus.
thedogditit How refreshing and lovely are you?! So nice to hear. Great example.
I'd like to add that I'm another who would like to develop an understanding with the mother of my partner's children. I'm sure not every SM is an ogre, just as every ex isn't as bad as the partners paint them. Whatever works best for the kids is the way forwards.
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