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New Boyfriend AIBU

(12 Posts)
rackelle Sat 11-Mar-17 18:23:51

I don't know if we're being unreasonable or overreacting but we're a bit worried about my DSD, I'll start from the very beginning so sorry for the long story! Her mum was married to a man DSD did not get on with and they are now going through court ordered mediation but really with a view to get divorced, they have a 6 month old DD but split up when she was 7 weeks old. Her side of the story to us is that he is just a generally horrible person (which I can believe from what I know of him) but she is one to embellish stories so never sure it's the whole picture. She went to live with her parents and is now renting a house where DSD lives with her and her the baby. Since she's moved in to this new house DSD has been telling us about visits from "Mummy's friend Dave" (names changed to protect the innocent!) which is slightly concerning for her herself because she's still in the middle of mediation and could look bad on her, knowing her ex I would imagine if he found out he would use it against her. The more worrying things are that she seems to be so preoccupied with this new relationship that DSD is getting a little neglected. We had to collect her this morning from her grandma's because mummy was staying at Dave's house with the baby which DSD seemed pretty upset about because she wasn't going and had to stay elsewhere. She is allowed to stay up late on school nights, at 7 years old until nearly 10pm.
Also, I know I really shouldn't have done this but I did, I checked DSD's iPod messages and her mum texts her to ask her to come for dinner, to have a bath, to go to bed most nights which feels really unfair that she can't even talk to her to ask her to come to dinner! I know I might be on my high horse a bit with that one but I would just never do it!
Do you think we should be worried this is just the start of another bad relationship and a bad time for DSD after what has already been a difficult few months for her? The mum was extremely difficult to deal with whilst she was with her ex and has been like a totally different (almost human) person since they split towards us so along with all of this we're dreading a new relationship making her revert back to the she devil she used to be!

rackelle Sat 11-Mar-17 18:24:28

I don't know if we're being unreasonable or overreacting but we're a bit worried about my DSD, I'll start from the very beginning so sorry for the long story! Her mum was married to a man DSD did not get on with and they are now going through court ordered mediation but really with a view to get divorced, they have a 6 month old DD but split up when she was 7 weeks old. Her side of the story to us is that he is just a generally horrible person (which I can believe from what I know of him) but she is one to embellish stories so never sure it's the whole picture. She went to live with her parents and is now renting a house where DSD lives with her and her the baby. Since she's moved in to this new house DSD has been telling us about visits from "Mummy's friend Dave" (names changed to protect the innocent!) which is slightly concerning for her herself because she's still in the middle of mediation and could look bad on her, knowing her ex I would imagine if he found out he would use it against her. The more worrying things are that she seems to be so preoccupied with this new relationship that DSD is getting a little neglected. We had to collect her this morning from her grandma's because mummy was staying at Dave's house with the baby which DSD seemed pretty upset about because she wasn't going and had to stay elsewhere. She is allowed to stay up late on school nights, at 7 years old until nearly 10pm.
Also, I know I really shouldn't have done this but I did, I checked DSD's iPod messages and her mum texts her to ask her to come for dinner, to have a bath, to go to bed most nights which feels really unfair that she can't even talk to her to ask her to come to dinner! I know I might be on my high horse a bit with that one but I would just never do it!
Do you think we should be worried this is just the start of another bad relationship and a bad time for DSD after what has already been a difficult few months for her? The mum was extremely difficult to deal with whilst she was with her ex and has been like a totally different (almost human) person since they split towards us so along with all of this we're dreading a new relationship making her revert back to the she devil she used to be!

SookiesSocks Sat 11-Mar-17 18:31:35

Its none of your business.

The DSD does not sound neglected to me. I message my DC to come down for dinner etc as its better than hollering up the stairs.

I would just keep an eye on the situation but I think you are making something from nothing.
How would you feel if the ex was this involved in your relationship?

needsahalo Sat 11-Mar-17 18:45:10

Your partner's ex has no obligation to report to him regarding her relationships. Having a boyfriend will not go against her in mediation so stop making value judgements on that basis.

Your DP can speak to school regarding progress and any concerns they may have - if she is up as late as you think, it is likely obvious to the teacher.

She can speak with her child however she chooses. Perhaps she texts after being ignored several times?

Oh, and she very much is human.

rackelle Sat 11-Mar-17 19:40:02

How would I feel if she was as involved? Um...she always is. I was not allowed to meet DSD until DH and I had been together a year as "it's not acceptable to bring people in and out of her life". She has always been dictatorial about what we can and can't do with DSD, whether or not she's allowed to interact with my family etc.
Are we saying it's acceptable for her to have opinions and dictate to us as she's the mother but DH isn't allowed the same courtesy because he's "just the dad"?
I'm concerned because DSD seems very withdrawn and has expressed unhappiness about this new situation, her behaviour has been getting worse to the extent her mum has had to call us to talk to her in the middle of blazing tantrums.
Perhaps my DH should talk to the school to get updates, he certainly doesn't get anything worthwhile from the mother and is only told about parents evenings after they have happened (we live over an hour away so don't get the opportunity to speak to teachers at school drop offs).
The extent of the messaging is far more than just a last resort, you can tell from the content and the frequency of the messages. If it were a last resort they would appear that way. Perhaps being human is communicating to your children via text message and I'm just not aware of it!

needsahalo Sat 11-Mar-17 19:59:05

Whilst it is unfair of her to dictate terms, she still has no obligation to report to her ex regarding her new relationships. Your DP danced to her tune, he didn't have to.

Why is it up to mum to give updates on education? They are separated parents, both are legally able to have a relationship with the school. If your DP wants to know what's going on, he speaks to the school himself.

Must be great to be a perfect parent. Some of us aren't. Some of us get it really wrong. Only single parents seem to get judged for it though.

rackelle Sat 11-Mar-17 20:17:10

When you're threatened with "you'll never see your daughter again unless you do as I say" you kind of don't have any choice but to "dance to her tune".
The school are not good at responding to emails and voicemails, when you don't find out about parents evening and are unable to get into the school during the day to talk face to face it's difficult to not rely on the other parent to pass on information. It's called co-parenting...even if you're split up you can actually be a team and not try to make life difficult.
I'm not saying I'm perfect, all I'm saying is interacting with your 7yo, what looks very much like solely, through a phone is not a great way to parent. Are you saying you prefer to send texts to your children than to actually talk to them? I find that hard to believe for most people. Most parents I know who allow their children to have iPads/iPods/tablets limit their time on them and don't let them use them late at night. They also give them age appropriate bed times!
I think perhaps you are judging me for believing that actually interacting with my children, spending time with them and wanting to make sure they are mentally and emotionally well is a good thing.

balia Sat 11-Mar-17 21:14:15

You should know that step-parents are never allowed to have an opinion on anything on MN. Your place is firmly in the wrong, and if you dare to challenge that, you are accused of being the OW and 'I pity the children'...
I feel your pain. DSS's mum has only had 3 boyfriends in the time I've been with DH, but all of them worried us (in terms of the impact on DSS). One she met at a support group for her MH issues (not that MH is a barrier to excellent parenting, but it did worry us that DSS would be subject to two lots of limitations) one was married and his wife did not hesitate to act out her fury when all was discovered, and one was violent - not quite in front of DSS but close enough for DSS to see his mother's blood on the walls.
Unfortunately there is nothing you can do. Be supportive of DSD, who has had a lot of changes to deal with, and try to keep your anxiety under control (no more checking of iPods - that is over the line). You should try to have an independent relationship with the school, but best of luck - DSS's was unhelful at best and downright hostile at worst, but DH did his homework on the legal side and remained calm and insistent - but TBH it is still fairly patchy.

Remember that DSD loves her mum, who in fairness has also had quite a shit time and is now coping with a new baby, a difficult break-up and a house move. Good luck!

Allthebestnamesareused Sat 11-Mar-17 21:40:58

I agree. Your DP should maintain a separate relationship with the school and ask for dates of parents evenings every term, make sure he gets newsletters etc.

It really is none if your business when it comes to ex's relationships. It will not affect mediation regarding current divorce unless she is going to cohabit and affect financial needs. It doesn't sound as though the relationship is that far along yet and even if it is still none of your business.

Maybe at home DSD is playing upstairs and thst is why her mum texts, maybe she doesn't want to shout upstairs and disturb her own parents and a possibly sleeping baby?

I suspect she does talk to her child.

As her stepMum you should be just ensuring that she has as nice a time as possible when she is at yours and show that you and her Dad love her.

It is always difficult as the step mum - I am one, as well as having one dc from a previous marriage and one together with DH - a truly blended family.

There are times when both exes are pains and times when it is better. Above all just treat the children with love and respect.

wannabestressfree Sat 11-Mar-17 21:49:15

If he has pr he has a right to information from the school. He can ring and ask to be copied into everything sent. That's not 'dancing to a tune' he can do that off his own back.
I would be asking for more Contact. If she is as disinterested as you say than she may agree.

needsahalo Sat 11-Mar-17 23:30:25

Co parenting is not about passing on dates of parents evening. Nor is it possible with someone extra involved intent on you being in the wrong. I am not sure where it is written men can expect the ex to act as some kind of glorified secretary on all things children but it is certainly common. My ex recently expected me to travel a extra 30 miles doing children stuff he had forgotten. Funnily enough his dp found a solution when I refused!

swingofthings Sun 12-Mar-17 07:42:55

Are you right to be alerted to the situation and keep on eye on DSD? Absolutely? Should you do something about it now? Absolutely not.

Clearly her mum has been going through massive upheaval recently and trying to cope with everything as best as she can. Maybe she met that Dave when she was still with her husband, but actually made the right decision not to move in together yet.

Your DSD is bound to be affected by the changes in her life, but learning to cope with change doesn't have to be a bad thing as long as the effect of the changes don't go on for too long.

Keep an eye on her and see how things progress. I expect that your OH will start reacting if she starts to show clear signs of neglect. It's just that at the moment, you are ahead of him assuming that things are going to get worse from what is already happening.

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