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Divorce/separation

OW seeing the children

91 replies

2018anewstart · 05/03/2019 17:16

Just wondered if anyone has ever stopped the OW seeing their children. My children don't want to meet her. My older daughter in particular does not want to see her. Quite frankly, their dad was a liar and a useless father but he has a legal right to see them. As far as I know there is no legal right for OW to see my children. Anyone has any experience of this. I think as the wronged party we are advised to just accept it but quite frankly I wouldn't want this woman to have any influence on my child's life. If my xh meets someone else no problem with them seeing the children at all. Anyone else feel the same. Could equally apply to other man if it was the woman having the affair?

OP posts:
Bookworm4 · 06/03/2019 13:37

@bingliveisrubbish
Really no need for the name calling, nothing I have said warrants your nastiness. Plenty women use their kids to punish their ex and live in permanent bitterness and make no effort to protect the kids. All I've said is put the bitterness and assumptions aside.

Bookworm4 · 06/03/2019 13:38

Also if contact should only be with the Dad does that mean Mum should never introduce a new man to them? Slight double standards.

2018anewstart · 06/03/2019 13:46

@bookworm no I blame them both equally. You're absolutely right my stbxh could have said no. He worked his way back into my life. I was starting to move on, I wasn't asking for him back. In restrospect I should never have taken him back. I may have written my children inadvertently but actually I don't think children are possessions and that anyone has an automatic right to contact, even their own parents. I think it is much better for the children to be surrounded by positive role models. My children have never been so happy now their dad is not living at home they have told me this personally. They still see him but they don't admire him or his traits. That makes me sad but there is nothing i can do about it. That is due to his behaviour and not anything I've done. I really doubt in my case she will be part of my childrens life due to their decision not to see her.

OP posts:
sofato5miles · 06/03/2019 13:46

I would say that an affair of four years sounds sounds like an established relationship. She may continue to be in your lives for a long time.

Your bitterness will hurt you and damage your children the most

kayaholly · 06/03/2019 13:57

Bookworm, while I appreciate the points you have made, you seem to be missing the fact that in this situation, one of the parents has not put the interest of their kids first to start off with, and neither has the OW. The fact that you would put your own needs before that of a child means that the person left behind is naturally going to have doubts about the standards you have set.

My scumbag Ex and myself worked hard to raise our kids with a certain set of values that included loyalty, honesty and respect for others, things that most parents would value in their kids, and the way these 2 people have behaved doesn't reinforce that, so naturally there are going to be doubts about a woman who places herself between a father and his kids reinforcing values that we held dear.

Any decent parent is going to have concerns putting their child in any situation that is going to cause them to be conflicted, or confused, or uncomfortable and cause them anxiety, it doesn't matter how you dress it up, these people have not acted like good people, regardless of their normal personality strengths, and when it comes down to it, if a parent has concerns about their childs welfare they have the right to voice it.

As for introducing another partner on the other side, it is not a double standard. When a new partner is introduced to a child under the right circumstances, and with the best interests of the child/ren in question and in a respectful manner there is never going to be an issue regardless of the circumstances. My personal issues with my situation will be put to the side so that my son won't feel like he is being disloyal or picking sides, and that will only be guided by their behaviour from now on in. At least that is my intention, can't say as it will actually go that way. Bitterness and assumptions are usually fuelled by assholes. I might be wrong, but judging from your responses I get the impression that we are viewing the situation from 2 different viewpoints.

Seniorschoolmum · 06/03/2019 14:02

Op, you don’t have any say in who you op tries to introduce to your dcs, but maybe have some faith in your children’s judgement.
most kids can spot a fraud at 20 paces. My ds got on with my ex’s new woman until she tried to undermine things he’d grown up with like cleaning his teeth at night. Then -aged 9 - he told her she was wrong and pointed her at the NHS website.Grin.

stay calm & neutral but support your dcs when they express a clear choice

LemonTT · 06/03/2019 16:26

In one sense you are right. It is not your job to get involved in what should be a responsibility for your ex. I think you should steer clear of the issue altogether. Especially given your really obvious disdain for him and her.

Personally I would try to make things work for them because your ex will be part of your dds life for a long long time. One way or another. That could include this woman.

At 12 your daughter doesn’t understand what that means for her. But you know. We all know.

Maybe think about helping her deal with the issue of infidelity which she has been exposed to at a young age. But she will experience it in many forms throughout her life. In all honesty she won’t be able to just cut some people out of her life because of it. She can’t with her father and that must be confusing. I think you should focus on helping her with this and let your ex and his ow build their relationship with her.

Andyjakeydan · 06/03/2019 21:15

Personally i don’t see the problem with slagging off the affair partners if they deserve it

sofato5miles · 06/03/2019 21:59

And that is why you cannot trust the internet for advice. You cannot see how unhinged some people are

TwoRoundabouts · 06/03/2019 22:01

@sofato5miles agree.

MissedTheBoatAgain · 07/03/2019 00:29

Plenty women use their kids to punish their ex and live in permanent bitterness and make no effort to protect the kids

Sounds like you know my Ex?

SpareASquare · 07/03/2019 00:44

this has been her decision not influenced by me at all

Oh, there is NO doubt it's been influenced by you whether you realise it (highly, highly likely) or not.

You win OP

Mrskeats · 07/03/2019 00:54

Why bother posting? You have no intention of listening to anyone.

2018anewstart · 07/03/2019 02:38

Ok what I have learnt from this is that we all have different opinions. There actually has been some good advice on here which is what I was hoping for. I think the main point that I have learnt here is let my daughter make up her own mind, (which is exactly what I have done irrespective of what some people think on here). On the flipside no one will change my mind in that people who have affairs are in most cases very selfish people. A decent person would put their hands up and say I've met someone else or walk away from the marriage if they were that unhappy. No one will ever change my view on that it's called having morals and values something which seems to be lacking in today's society.

OP posts:
MissedTheBoatAgain · 07/03/2019 06:41

that people who have affairs are in most cases very selfish people

In some cases it may be a symptom of a marriage that has already failed? However, as you state it would be better to say so upfront, get a divorce and move on.

Frecklesonmyarm · 07/03/2019 07:20

Theres seems to be mixed issues here.

If he has been a shit dad and the kids are happier without him, it was unlikely to be a happy marriage. That's asks the question should you have ended it earlier and why were you still with him?

Not saying you have to answer that, but it's something for you to think about. If he hadn't of had the affair, would you still be with him? Would the kids still be living with a man they dont like.

I dont think the kids should have known why the marriage broke down. But that's personal opinion.

People who have affairs are selfish. I agree. However, I dont believe that, that makes you entirely a shit person. Not a great person. But I didn't think that always means that they should be kept away from children or that they have never done good or go on to be good.

The problem is that so much emotion is part of this that everything is heightened.

Purplejay · 07/03/2019 17:16

My H began an affair at the start of last year and I found out in March. He was going to end it but didn’t, after a couple more weeks said he did, though just on a break (!) she kept messaging him and then he was contacting her again of course. He tried to tell me they would just be friends. I didn’t buy it. He wanted a trial separation. I told him he had to choose and if he left that was that. He left.

We initially told DS (11 at the time) we were separating but not of the affair. A few weeks later without discussing it with me H told DS and then took him away for a weekend to a festival and OW was there (although with others). She got angry with H for not spending more time with her (he was watching bands with DS). H tried to keep the peace (DS told me all about it). On the last day, DS thought she had gone and went with his dad dor a pub lunch and she (again without warning) met them there. It was to much for DS who got on with it while it was happening was very tearful when he got home, without really being able to tell me why. I was livid. OW was very ‘full on’ and i got the impression it was a bit much for H and they split up - but kept in touch(!). He was at that time asking to come back and all along has said he made a mistake, is miserable, etc. He never really stopped seeing her though, I was never sure if he was keeping her on the back burner not wanting to be alone or still trying to have both of us on some level. Anyway it was a big no from me. They have been on and off throughout and after Chrismas (now it seems to have finally sunk in that I won’t have him back) they are on again.

H did not ask DS to meet her again for the intervening 6 months but has recently invited him to go for a walk with the two of them. DS is having none of it. He is aware of them being ‘on and off’. We have talked about whether meeting her will become more difficult if he leaves it or if it will stay the same and I have told him he must not refuse to go because of me. I don’t have to like her but it is ok for him to. He knows I mean it. I don’t think he was impressed though with how she was introduced or her behaviour and the way his dad was distracted by her in the early weeks and how he treated me. DS has also probably put 2 and 2 together about H sneaking off to see her in the begining but I don’t know. I have said DS should think about going as she may be in his dads life for the foreseeable but have also said I won’t make him go. DS sees loads lf his dad but mostly here. I suppose if H eventually lives with OW we will have to cross that bridge then. It is difficult.

lifebegins50 · 08/03/2019 09:04

This is similar to a thread posted by an woman in a relationship with divorced man so seems a common issue.

I think that a child's reluctance to see a parents new partner is due to the poor relationship the parent has with the child. I really don't think it's fair to blame the mum (or dad) for bad mouthing and it is not parental alienation. There are simply many selfish parents who have let their children down. A child of 11 of 12 can feel this for themselves, they don't need to be influenced.

A parent who disconnects from the spouse during an affair often disconnects from the children as well. Every affair case I know of the parent has put the child lower down the priority whilst in the affair bubble. Once the affair is out in the open they want to play happy families but they don't recognise that they damaged their relationship with the children as well.

There are also emotionally abusive parents who simply ride roughshod over their children's feelings. A child who is hurting due to their parents actions will often reject the parents new partner by proxy..its a way of signalling their upset at the parent. The desire to have a parent is strong which is why I think they choose to outcast the OW/OM.
These children may choose to go NC when they are older and develop their own boundaries. As a child enters teen/young adulthood they need support to understand their feelings, trust their instincts and recognise when they are being treated badly. In this case I think the DC have to be heard..let them.explain why they don't want to meet a new partner, maybe they will change their kind but I suspect the dad in this case needs to rebuild trust that he has lost.

@bookworm4, my marriage ended due to abuse. It is not possible to co parent with an abusive Ex, it really isn't..NC is advisable. Many marriages end because of abuse so we need to understand and not judge those who cannot co-parent with ex spouses. I agree its preferably and I wanted an amicable separation but Ex's is personality disordered which is more common that most people generally suspect. I was certainly naive beforehand and think over the coming years we will learn more through neuroscience and hopefully predict those who have sociopathic traits.

BigFatZiggy · 08/03/2019 19:09

Life....

“I think that a child's reluctance to see a parents new partner is due to the poor relationship the parent has with the child. I really don't think it's fair to blame the mum (or dad) for bad mouthing and it is not parental alienation.”

How can you know that?
Are you an expert in parental alienation?

If one parent is hell bent on lying about the other, manipulative and determined to mess things up, then they absolutely CAN mindbend a child or teenager.

BigFatZiggy · 08/03/2019 19:12

I’m not suggesting this applies to the OP though...
I’m just making the point that parental alienation is very common and (thankfully) better understood by the likes of CAFCASS and Family Court.

lifebegins50 · 08/03/2019 20:17

I do have insight into this personally and professionally....it is easy to blame a resident parent but equal focus needs to be applied to nrp. When a partner is being rejected I think the nrp needs to build a stronger relationship and genuinely listen to the child. It's worth trying.

lifebegins50 · 08/03/2019 20:31

In divorce/separation there is a thread by a mum who's older daughter isnt talking to her because mum was believed to have an affair..if an older daughter, with more insight into relationships struggles to forgive a parent and wants to go NC why is it so unbelievable that a younger child also has the same struggles and wants no contact.

2018anewstart · 08/03/2019 23:10

@lifebeginsat50 the first few paragraphs is exactly what has happened in my situation. Dad's relationship has broken down with the children due to the lack of time he has invested in them especially during the affair. I have been accused of parental alienation by my stbxh but in fact having read up on it he has tried to alienate the children against me by constantly speaking ill of me in front of them. As a result he has further turned the children away from himself. My stbxh is very manipulative he manipulated me for 4 years and I do worry he could manipulate the children however I sometimes think as another poster pointed out that children can see right through a fraud.

OP posts:
nannytothequeen · 09/03/2019 05:29

I can entirely see your point of view having been in an almost identical situation. Perhaps the affair was just a symptom of our martial fragility (whoever said that sounds like someone trying to justify their own affair) or perhaps my ex was a spineless fuckhead (more likely). And the OW a moral vaccination and a massive liar who did the dirty on a friend. But it isn't possible to manage who your children spend time with when they are with the spineless fuckhead and you'll need to grit your teeth into a smile and be bland and neutral even if you are seething inside. All these posters banging on about being civil can't have been cheated on as neutral is the best I can do. And advice about not being bitter is also rubbish. It's not something you can turn on and off. Again you'll probably have to fake it.

There have been a couple of occasions I have seen the liars out and about when the kids have been elsewhere. On these occasions I haven't bothered being neutral. Last time I left her weeping in the supermarket. I don't seem to feel the need to pretend for them.

I take a little comfort from the fact that my daughter is physically the image of me (a constant reminder) and has just turned into the stroppy adolescent from hell.

RightOcciputAnterior · 09/03/2019 08:24

Fascinating how some posters judge their ex and the OW for lack of moral fibre, but have no problem with leaving someone "weeping in the supermarket".

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