Advice please

(25 Posts)
NotSureIfiAmWell Thu 05-Oct-17 06:29:23

Stbxh and l seperated June after l found out about OW. Since then he has moved out into rented accommodation.

4 weeks after we seperated the children (10yrs and 13yrs) met her. She now stays over when they have contact time with their Dad which is EOW and once during the week for dinner. She is also there during the day too when they are there.

STBX has told the children that they are going to take them abroad on holiday next year (- we never went as couldn't afford it and eldest is autistic so wasn't sure if he'd cope).

I am just so muddled. On one hand l want my boy's to get along with her as it would be better for them and l have never been negative about her...but l also think this is all to quick.

Stbx said she wants to "act like a mum" and "be like a mum" to them and already "thinks like a mum" when shopping for Christmas gifts.

How do other stepfamilies cope? My mum said l should have been firmer about her spending time with them - but he doesn't have any respect for me so l doubt he'd have listened anyway

OP’s posts: |
mustresistwine Thu 05-Oct-17 06:59:19

It's so hard 😫

And clearly this rushed 'be like a mum' approach is about his & her wants/needs... not about what's best for your DC!

BUT, you can't dictate what happens during his contact time with his children. And as you say, he's not likely to be reasonable & respectful of your wishes!

My advice is to focus on your time with your dc and try to let everything else go. My children (now older teens) have a step mum & I am a step mum myself. The latter is the hardest role I've ever had & im sure your stbxh's new woman will soon find it's not all rosy!

Good luck! flowers

The1975 Thu 05-Oct-17 10:00:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

swingofthings Thu 05-Oct-17 11:26:18

I just cannot get my head around the fact that a woman who takes responsibility for having an affair with a married man, which is clearly bad enough, could push the boundaries even more by thinking that she can decide that she should have the right to act 'as a mum' to the children of the woman whose life she's destroyed.

How can any man fall in love with such a person? They are clearly very well suited for each other!

wheresthel1ght Thu 05-Oct-17 11:35:12

As a step mum over over 5 years I would say this is gonna end in disaster. Your kids need time to adjust to you and their dad being apart.

That said, you can't stop him introducing her or having her about. Although at their ages the kids will see through the bravado.

Honestly it sounds like they are both trying to over compensate for their betrayal. It will settle. Just keep doing what you are doing.

As for trying to be a mum to them, that is massively overstepping boundaries. Even after 5 years I don't try to be a mum. I am a caring adult who loves them and is here for them. But however neglectful and problematic their mum is she is still their mum and they love her!

NotSureIfiAmWell Thu 05-Oct-17 12:46:54

Thankyou everyone. I just want to get it "right" and cause as little upset for the boy's as possible. It's just so upsetting when you see personalized family christmas ornament with their names and the boy's names on redirection failed so HAD to open package

OP’s posts: |
EndofSummer Thu 05-Oct-17 13:21:16

That’s hard but you won’t get any choice, what happens while the kids are with them is separate to you and outside your control.

Your ex is being totally stupid by saying all the Mum stuff and hurtful. I’d tell him that he’s not thinking of the kids next time he says that.

Don’t worry though, no way are you ever going to be replaced. You are their mum and the kids won’t like her being too involved. They’ll suss out and kids pick up on game playing. Be the parent who doesn’t do this, who they can trust.


EndofSummer Thu 05-Oct-17 13:22:17

I’d probably bin those personalised gifts though! Yuk.

swingofthings Thu 05-Oct-17 18:36:35

Unfortunately, you might face worse to come, when after she tries hard to be a mummy to them, full of good attention, she then moves on to ignoring them completely when they don't return her invasive motherly care into adoration.

Unfortunately, all too common and of course, when it happens, it will be your fault for manipulating your kids.

Notreallyarsed Thu 05-Oct-17 18:52:21

Stbx said she wants to "act like a mum" and "be like a mum" to them and already "thinks like a mum" when shopping for Christmas gifts.

That was an unbelievably cruel thing to say to you, he was being really nasty. She wants to back off a bit, and the whole playing happy families with kids who’s lives you’ve just blown apart isn’t on.

What do you think is best OP? You sound like you’re the only adult actually considering what your kids want or need.

Notreallyarsed Thu 05-Oct-17 18:54:16

Oh and I’ve been a SM for 6 years and never once “acted like a Mum”. I told DPs ex that while I will care for the girls as well as if they are my own while they’re here, I am not their Mum, she is, and I’d never disrespect that. I had the same speech from DS1s SM and I really appreciated it.

NotSureIfiAmWell Thu 05-Oct-17 20:29:41

Notreallyarsed - l have messaged them both and told them to back off and give the boys some space and time alone with their Dad.....doubt it will happen. He hasn't respected me in year's so unlikely he'll listen now.

He was moaning that he won't have any leave left for himself next year as he now has to do holiday childcare (first time in 14 yrs l will be using some of my holiday leave for me!) l suggest she does some as she's so keen on "acting" like a mum...she can make sacrifices like a mum too he roped his elderly parents in instead

OP’s posts: |
Busymum5 Fri 06-Oct-17 10:47:50

NotSureIfiAmWell; You sound like an amazing mum.
Everything you have done - I would have done myself so I have no advice to give.

All I can say is that as a step mum of five years is that the OW is overstepping her mark. Any reasonable woman (or man) stepping into a Step parent role needs to know limits. My OH knows his limits with my kids and their dad and I know mine with his kids and ex wife. The children only have two parents and a "bonus" couple of adults who love them like their own.
To add to the fact that she is the OW; maybe she should have thought a little more deeply before jumping into this role so soon. But like others have pointed out here; this could be over compensating for the damaged they have caused.

As a wise fish said once "just keep swimming, just keep swimming" and you will get there. You watch your words and your actions - because that is the only thing you can really control. Good job on making sure you have "me" time with your holidays; as it is a good way of showing him that parenting is about the sacrifices - so some of his annual leave with have to be spent on the kids.

Good luck

justtiredofcoping Fri 06-Oct-17 13:45:20

Notsure - I completely understand how you feel, my Ex and his OW did the same ( 8 days after moving out!!)

The advice on here is absolutely right and believe me you are going to take an awful lot of deep breaths - as you are not in control. They sadly are - they can do, behave and say what they like on his time.
It is rubbing the salt into the wound from the two twunts who have hurt you ( and they are both responsible - he broke your marriage and she was an instrumental part in that)

I took the position of moral superiority for 3 yrs - never shouted, always made the issue the DCs not me, smiled till my face hurt, cried silently inside and raged to myself. It hurts like nothing you can imagine unless you have been there.

Swing is right - it will change and she will become less engaged and your DCS will work it out.

What goes around, comes around, everyone kept telling me that and I did not believe them - this year it did and I would be lying if I did not say a small smirk and a small "eff you" escaped my lips!

swingofthings Fri 06-Oct-17 17:03:27

What goes around, comes around
Oh it is so true! Same here, I didn't believe me when people told me, but it has certainly happened. The worse part is, however warming the prospect if it was at the time, when it did happen (when DS decided he didn't want to have anymore contact with his dad) I was actually hit my sadness for my DS because however much I wanted Ex to know how it felt, I certainly didn't want my DS to feel that he didn't have a dad to feel close too. I really hope they make it up for the sake of DS. Ex only got what he deserves, especially as he got warned by different people that this would happen.

heidiwine Fri 06-Oct-17 17:40:06

I'm going to be very honest here and risk a flaming...

I am stepmother - have been for years. I wasn't the OW and we waited a long time before I met my DPs children - so a bit different from your situation.

Looking back on how things were at the start I realise that I probably was a bit insensitive to the children's mum because I was trying too hard. I did all sorts of things with them that probably wound their mum up - e.g. I helped them to make mothers day cards and home made birthday presents for their mum. Whenever we baked or cooked I encouraged them to take some home for 'their mum to try'. I really was trying to help the children avoid compartmentalising their lives but with hindsight it wasn't particularly thoughtful (and I'm generally quite a thoughtful person) I was just trying too hard to be liked because my relationship with their dad was so important.

You ask for advice and this might be hard to hear but in my situation the best thing for the children would have been for all of the adults to have a relaxed and cordial relationship with each other. We didn't and we don't. Personally I hold my partner and his ex entirely responsible for that. So, however hard it is for you and however badly you are hurting - bear in mind that this woman could be a part of your childrens' lives forever and it will pay off for the children if you guys can all get on (and vice versa when (or if) you meet someone new). So rock the boat - ask them round for a quick coffee when they drop the kids off - encourage the children to show them their bedrooms, meet the hamster, share some of their life with you with her.

Magda72 Fri 06-Oct-17 20:26:57

Heidiwine I think your honesty is great. However, until you've had another woman (in conjunction with your ex of course) break up your kids home & then try & force herself into your kids lives & your life you'll never understand what women like me or the op have had to go through, both for ourselves & on behalf of our kids.
Your situation is very different and I'm having a giggle here at your honesty over the baking. My ex's dp does that all the time but she was the ow & I think she has some bloody cheek thinking her baking me a few buns is going to improve her standing in my eyes!!! I'm civil to her & I'm grateful that she's nice to the kids but she will never have moral standing with me.
Marriages splitting up are one thing but marriages that break down as the result of affairs are devastating & it can often take a very long time for people to heal - having the cause of that split prancing around the place trying to be a new mum to the kids whose lives she helped turned upside down would give most sane people a pain in the face** & while I would never bad mouth her to my kids & I am always civil & pleasant I for one don't see why I should belittle myself by being her 'friend'. I came to this conclusion after she invited me in for coffee once & I said yes for the sake of the kids. She sat me down in what had been MY kitchen, in MY home & served us coffee in mugs that I had bought all the while yapping on about how she wanted to redecorate!!!
After that I said never again - sometimes too much is expected of us divorced/separated parents! We have a right to be angry & we have a right to keep our distance.
I know nothing can be done about it but I think it's very unfair that people like her or my ex never have to account for their actions!

justtiredofcoping Fri 06-Oct-17 20:34:44

Heidi - whilst I respect where you are coming from and agree if it is not the OW .

My DCS are on their second SM - we talk and get on like adults. I have no beef with her unless she emotionally abuses my children. I really like her independent of the dickhead!

However, when it is the OW/OM -this is a whole area of "mindfuck" that is beyond comprehension unless you have experienced it. Talking to the two twunts who caused you pain, is degrading, demeaning and gives them a sense of power and control that you struggle to deal with.
You have sucked up the shit and move on and they get to keep on controlling you - because ultimately that is what happens. Contact is controlled by them, it gets dropped when they want it and you know neither of them respect you - otherwise the two of them would not have done what they did.

Utopia -yes , reality no!
Anyone who can is a better person than me!

Winosaurus Fri 06-Oct-17 21:12:39

Holy shit Magda72 shock I don’t know how you coped with that! Your husband, your home, your kids, your mugs etc. I honestly don’t know how anyone in your situation could manage to stay sane let alone calm!!!
Big hugs to you all xxx

justtiredofcoping Fri 06-Oct-17 23:56:53

magda - I get your pain!

Ex on one of his rare occasions wanted DCs one weekend. About 6 weeks after he walked out and most of his stuff still in the house.
I went to see my parents.
Their new house had central heating failure so without discussion he moved her and her 2 DCs into our old house and had the DCs for the weekend.

I walked into her playing happy families in my lounge on the Sunday afernoon.

How I did not kill them both I do not know - they even slept in our old bed.

i think when an affair is involved, the need for the two twunts to prove they were right in doing what they did, over rides any remaining sense of morals, politeness and good behaviour.

swingofthings Sat 07-Oct-17 07:16:06

heidiwine, you reflected on the situation and doing so were able to see that you did things that you would maybe do differently now, so whereas I agree with all you say, I don't think you can totally absolve yourself of any responsibility for things going wrong, even if you were not the main factor and driver.

As a mum, I think we are inevitably torn apart between hoping the SM of our children will be a caring woman who will want to love our children or at least care for them because we want them to feel welcome and sherished, but at the same time being insecure about the prospect of our children's love to be shared with yet another person. When that person is someone who we feel has already taken the love that your husband, the person who was committed to you forever, the last we want is to also share the love of our children.

It takes a very strong and unselfish women to put all her feelings aside and make the choices that are only good for her children, even if that means more emotional hurt for her. However much we adore our children and want the best for them, sometime we are pushed to our emotional limit and need someone else, even a stranger to give them just a bit of a break.

The new woman in the man's life, whether OW or not, will be in a bubble of happiness at the start of the relationship and as such, it is only natural to expect no-one to burst that bubble, when they feel they deserve (and often do). It is easy to build walls around your happiness when you finally get there and not want to consider anyone else's feelings that could mean impacting on that happiness.

I think everyone who is happier at the detriment of another person should hold a certain level of responsibility to try to consider that person's feelings. The problem is that it's hard to think this way when you new perfect love builds a picture of a horrible person of his ex because after all, if they were not horrible, why wouldn't they have left them in the first place?

RandomMess Sat 07-Oct-17 07:39:25

Well your Ex is being a prat but I'd maintain a dignified silence and support your DC as best you can to deal with emotionally.

I think saying anything will just be read as you bring bitter and jealous. Save any comments to your Ex in case anything really kicks off like the DC refusing to go, accusations of step parent shouting or hitting(!) even then tread carefully- DC1 was distraught when he came back, anything happen you can think of?" Also as their rock of a parent they may offload on you so it appears they are very unhappy but it's more a way of transitioning and working through things.

It's tough all the lip biting that has to go on!!!!


NotSureIfiAmWell Tue 10-Oct-17 06:38:13

Thankyou everyone. He is currently refusing to tell me the details of where they are taking the children abroad next year

Everything is just all so tiresome!

OP’s posts: |
FannyTheFlamingo Tue 10-Oct-17 06:51:08

Well he has to tell you the details! What if there's an emergency? That's ridiculous.

You've had some good advice already, but didn't want to read and run. I think it's good that your boys are old enough to know what's happening. If I were you, I'd just talk to them about everything, just to find out how they feel about it all.

The OW doesn't 'think like a mum'. That's a stupid thing to say. I'm step mum to 3 and didn't think like a mum until i had DD. She needs to back off and not act like a mum. I made sure I was a friend to my DSC first and foremost, but I wasn't an OW, so I expect she's probably over compensating because she knows she's done a horrible thing!

Good luck flowers

sandgrown Tue 10-Oct-17 07:05:28

Husband left for a friend 30 years ago. Ex DH thought it was ok for them all to go on holiday a few weeks later ( I objected so she travelled separatetrly and I only found out when she was on photos the children took) We never spoke for years all contact by letter or via children . Ex DH missed graduations as only two tickets and he was not allowed to come alone!
Weddings and christenings meant we had to meet and now it's all fairly relaxed (I no longer care) . For the sake of the children I never bad mouthed the two of them but it was so hard at times and I did a lot of crying alone.

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