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Ex newly remarried - wants to change arrangements (long)

28 replies

omnishambles · 24/09/2010 16:22

I dont know where to start with this so I'll keep it simple.

Ex and I used to be friends - we sorted the separation all out amicably - the days that ds would be with us and the child maintenance payments.

At the time I was a bit miffed that exdp had ds every weeeknd but got over it and it was best for ds.

Now ex has remarried and wants not to have ds on fri night and saturday - but sunday night instead - so keeps his 3 nights and is moaning about the maintenance (which isnt as much as he should pay) saying that he doesnt know what I spend it on as we split all the school uniform and extras etc.

Should I give in and have ds on saturday as well - we obv wouldnt mind that much as we would get to do things that we cant now - like got to museums etc but I am the one who is going to have to explain it to ds who is going to be upset and with good cause I think - surely its not the best way for a stepmum to start out -exs new wife I mean.

Is it depressingly normal for this to happen once your ex remarries? he says they need time on their own - but surely its time as a family they need - after all his wife knew that ds would be there every weekend when they were going out and now suddenly its all changng.

I suppose I just feel sad for ds.

OP posts:
GypsyMoth · 24/09/2010 16:34

its ds that counts....not his time with his new wife. i would remind him that he cant keep changing the status quo....cos he might try to do this again when the honeymoon period has worn off.

sorry for you and ds

comtessa · 24/09/2010 16:39

What about every other weekend? That way you get your Saturday with DS twice a month, and he gets his lie-ins with his new Mrs.

However agree that it's not nice for DS to feel pushed out, and he's the most important one here. How old is DS and what do you think he would think/feel about this?

omnishambles · 24/09/2010 17:08

Thanks for your replies - am getting more and more anxious about it tbh as ex keeps emailing to ask why I wouldnt want more time with ds and of course I do but it just feels a bit wrong.

ds is nearly 7.

I suggested moving to the trad every other weekend but then he is moaning that he wont see him then from one weds to another - but I feel it would be better because ds always seems more settled when he has got a long time at one place or another. Anyway he wont agree to it - its his way or no way and when you disagree you get a lot of attacking stuff back - I feel a bit bullied tbh.

My dh is really pleased by the idea as we get to spend more time with ds. But its just the exs insistance on his need for 'free time' like who has 'free time' when you're a parent?

When dh and I got together I was so careful to put ds first in everything I did and took into account all the repercussions and it just feels Sad that ex wont do the same when we've always been on the same page before about everything.

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omnishambles · 24/09/2010 17:11

DS will be gutted I think - he has a cat there and lots more room and toys and no noisy screeching dd either.Tho on the other hand we can take him to the cinema and on outings and all the stuff I've never been able to do with him before.

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whiteandnerdy · 24/09/2010 18:12

These are my thoughts, I'm really surprised your Ex has managed to find a partner having the kids every weekend, I've been doing it for 9 years and find it very hard to have anything like a socail life.

Secondly weekends with kids is great, spending quality time with you I'm sure DC won't mind having less toys and cats. I don't know about anyone else I'd be quite litterally pulling his hand off ;-P.

But your right you should be putting your DS first but I think you have to get a good balance. In the long run it's not in your childs interest if your ExP new marriage breaks down, being a parent is always easyier with the emotional support of another adult. Therefore your ExP does need time and effort to make his marriage work. And you shouldn't overlook your own needs be they financal or emotional.

Hopefully you can communicate and get to some compromise where your DS, you and your ExP are all happy(ish) with the right balance. And that way eveyone is more likely to get the stability that you need.

I wish I could get this balance right before my kids all turn into grotty teenagers, URRGH, they grow up fast ;-P

omnishambles · 24/09/2010 21:38

you're right whiteandnerdy but I am just worried that they will pretty quickly have anoher baby and ds will get squeezed out.

I think he met his new wife online - I dont know, I havent met her!

I feel a bit like if I give in here just because he has got a bit cross then what else will change between him and dsthey have such a strong bond - this women has married them as a family not him as a single feeling a bit cynical about her commitment to them both.

But i know that I have been lucky so far in that we have seen eyetoeye on everything for nigh on 7 years and it was bound to change sooner or later.

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whiteandnerdy · 24/09/2010 23:30

I don't want to be some pedantic prat but it sounds like your head is kinda buzzin with what ifs ... Your "worried that they will pretty quickly have another baby and DS will get queezed out", seems somewhat contrary to "feeling a bit cynical about her commitment to them both."

Either way however hard it is to take the relationship between your Ex and your DS is just that ... their relationship. Therefore he has the same freedom to fk it up and also with that the same responsibility not to, just as much as you have with your relationship with your DS.

That's not to say you don't and shouldn't have your fears, doubts and it doesn't stop you wanting your Ex to make certain decitions what you see as benifical for himself and your DS.

I dunno I'm having a terrible time of it at the moment trying to sort out contact URRRGH. I don't think you should "give in" but I think you should discuss what your concerns are, and what you yourself want from any changes in access.

But you may need to take time to work out what your concerns actually are, and what you and your DS really want from access. I hope you sort it out and don't f
k it up to the degree myself and my ExP have.

fingers crossed

elastamum · 24/09/2010 23:44

I feel for you. My ex remarried, he moved miles away and ever since he sees our kids one night a fortnight and we are all manouvred into a schedule where him and his new wife have all their kids one weekend and none the next.

I resent this. He will never budge an inch if I need a weekend off and is always asking me to accomodate them. Our kids never get 1:1 time with him anymore and as the others are much younger they have pretty dull weekends at his.

I would negotiate for something that will work for you as well. I dearly love my boys but have little prospect of dating anyone and one free night a fortnight doesnt give me much of a social life. I didnt get any choice, the schedule was just imposed on me, take it or leave it.

hope you have more luck with this than i have had

floweryblue · 25/09/2010 00:00

Why haven't you met the new wife omni?

I wasn't allowed to meet DP's kids until I met their mother (perfectly reasonable in my opinion). DP and his ex had reasonable arrangements before I came on the scene, these have changed over the years to accomodate everyone involved. I am able to talk to ex wife quite easily because we all do our best to keep things as easy as possible for the children to spend time with their father. But I have learnt to bite my lip, when I think either parent is being silly.

Now the kids are becoming grotty teenagers they don't want to waste their time on either of their parents!!! A biting my lip even more!

omnishambles · 25/09/2010 18:55

Tahnks again all - I really appreciate it - since yesterday ex has texted to say he will rethink it - and we had a lovely day with ds today.

I havnt met the new wife because ex doesnt think it necessary - he said to me that she wont be doing any of the childcare or have any responsibility for ds at all. Which I think is odd in itself - she is a fair bit younger than us though.

My dh obv looks after ds on his own - and picks him up form after school clyb etc - I see that as normal - he married a family not just me etc.

I know I cant impose my views on my ex - I just needed to speak up for ds as he cant for himself.

I might suggest carrying on as we are for a couple of months and then changing it if they still feel the same - at least that wont be a couple of weeks after the wedding and ds might not be able to connect it quite as well...

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memoo · 25/09/2010 18:59

I am a stepmum to two girls and DH have also had our own baby. In all the time we have been together the arrangements for having his DD's and maintenance payments have remained the same as they were before we met and I wouldn't have it any other way. I think your ex is very wrong to start trying to move thigs around now he is remarried, feel sorry for your DS as he may well feel a bit pushed out

floweryblue · 25/09/2010 19:49

Omni, won't things get difficult in the long term if you don't have a relationship of some sort with the new wife?

And surely just by being in their lives the new wife will sometimes have responsibility for your DS, in the same way that your friends might have if you are all out together.

I don't know your history so you may all have good reasons for how you have arranged things.

As you seem to have a good relationship with your ex it just seems odd that you haven't met a person whose house your child sleeps in and who will, hopefully, be a long term person in your DS's life.

ChasingSquirrels · 25/09/2010 19:52

why would it become a problem? (not being argumentative, thinking of my own situation).

ex has a new partner (who may well have been the OW in our break-up, but he says not - it doesn't matter).

He introduced her to the children nearly 2 years ago, and they are shortly moving in together.

I have never met her, and have no desire to do so.

In what way does it become difficult?

floweryblue · 25/09/2010 20:10

ChasingSquirrels, I'm thinking of far, far down the line, when children have big events: graduations, weddings, that kind of thing. Where they have now got an established relationship with the new partner and would like them to be able to participate. If the whole parenting group don't even know each other, it makes things tricky for the child. I'm not suggesting becoming best friends, but in an ideal world a cordial reationship between all would be best for the child.

omnishambles · 25/09/2010 20:19

Yes I know floweryblue - thats what makes it s weird - before OW came along we spent christmasses altogether and went on holiday altogether - in fact we still all went to CP last year - she stayed behind. And yes I know its unuaual but it did work for us and our extended families - ie we all get on with it together.

I dont know if it comes from ex or her tbh.

I guess I sort of thought that when he met someone he would only move things along if they were ok with the set-up - that was a nonnegotiable thing for me with my new partner - although he was a friend who knew us all very well anyway - and nothing happened while I was with ex - the split was all amicable.

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ChasingSquirrels · 25/09/2010 20:25

ah right - yes, way down the line.
I guess I don't have any issue with that, it wouldn't be like any of us would refuse to be in the same room (well, I know I and ex wouldn't and presume new partner wouldn't) at events or anything.
And, I presume by that far down the line we would have met anyway.
But in so far as wanting to meet her because she is having a part in my kids lives when they are with their dad - no, I don't want to meet her.

pinkbasket · 25/09/2010 20:26

I expect new wifey doesn't want someone elses kid hanging around Sad and your ex is too much in lust to tell her his son comes first.

floweryblue · 25/09/2010 20:54

I can understand new woman not wanting to go on hols with you and kids! I paid for DP, his ex and their kids all to go away together once, on the condition I didn't have to go! Disney, not my cup of tea, but totally understood that the parents would enjoy their kids enjoying it.

I have also been to many an extended family Christmas where my present is given to the ex coz DP's mum muddles up names!

I must admit I now avoid all these events, geography makes it easier as we now live 300 miles away and I find it hard to get off work. But when we lived nearby I attended the birthday parties where DP's ex-FIL actually wouldn't say hello to me, or even acknowledge that I existed, even though DP's ex is very friendly, always has been.

It is difficult being the new woman. If she is younger and has no kids of her own I can sort of see why she would find you a threat, after all, you and your ex have a life-long connection that she may not understand yet.

If she is reluctant to meet you I can understand, sort of. But I don't think it is a good idea to put it off forever.

heresiarch · 25/09/2010 20:58

It sounds like the current arrangements have been going for a long time now. I think that contact arrangements do need updating from time to time as situations change and life moves on. I understand that DS will be upset not seeing his dad quite so often though. Could your ex see DS during the week as well? Quite often courts will order every other weekend plus mid-week contact.

CarGirl · 25/09/2010 21:02

Can you suggest a long weekend alternate weekends and then a Sunday afternoon for the other weekend unless you go away or something?

Try writing "I think it's in ds best interests that you have several days together with him" that type of approach to focus his mind on your ds.

omnishambles · 25/09/2010 22:00

Yes he sees him every weds night as it is - picks him up from after school club and takes him to school on thursday. That was the only way of him having 3 nights and me 4 - ie trying to make it equal from the beginning.

Thanks CarGirl - I did say to him that I thought it didnt really matter what we wanted but what was best for ds might be x but he responded that he knew he was being selfish and not putting ds first but he was tired of his life just being ds and work Sad

Its ironic because this has been the situation since ds was 2 - now hes nearly 7 hes really easy to live with and you can take him everywhere obv and do lots of different things and I would see this time as a chance to do all those things before a new baby comes along really. And, if it's like this now what on earth will it be like when theres a new baby?

I feel so upset for ds and worried too that all the effort about 10 people - all the extended family, have put in to make this work for ds will be thrown away. Maybe I'm being overly negative though.

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Niceguy2 · 25/09/2010 22:49

Hi Omni

These are my thoughts. From the sounds of things, the routine has been very stable for the last 5 years. It's what DS knows. Fair enough.

The thing is, you have to ask how realistic it would be to continue the routine where one parent gets all the weekends and the other does not. Frankly I'm amazed it's lasted so long.

At the same time its unrealistic to assume that a routine established when DS is 2 would suit when he is 16. So at some point things change.

From what I've read, your ex's proposal's sound quite reasonable to me. The number of nights remain unchanged and you all get a weekend night "free".

Ask yourself this question and be honest. Lets assume he hadn't met his new wife yet and had asked to swap days. Would it still be an issue?

Often its easy to twist things to be "in the best interests of the children" when in reality its our own emotions which are clouding our judgement. Only you will know which is which.

floweryblue · 25/09/2010 22:55

Omni, being worried and being negative about changes are v different things. It is totally understandable that you are worried/reluctant to change things, it is also totally normal that situations do change.

None of the families' efforts have to be thrown away, you all still love DS and want the best for him, so carry on doing what you have been doing and make sure he is happy.

Who has the new baby coming along?

Niceguy2 · 26/09/2010 00:18

I don't think there is any new baby. Unless I am mistaken, OP is worried that if/when they have a new baby that her DS may be pushed out.

Quite illogical really since the ex seems to have good contact, a good relationship and I assume from the "no screeching dd" comment that OP has a daughter now. I assume DS isn't feeling pushed out so why would he if his dad had another child?

omnishambles · 26/09/2010 10:43

No quite right that arrangements will change but I just wish they would have done before ex's new wife had moved in properly - she hadnt properly before the wedding as her family background meant that wasnt appropriate.

I just dont want ds to make the connection even if isnt connected at all iyswim.

We have been asking for more weekend time for years - but ex really didnt want to do it as he felt he really needed that time with ds.

niceguy- last week I offered the ex a new arrangement where they had a friday night free and the sat morning specifically so that they could have a night out and a lie in etc as that would be great as they have just got married - he then came back and said actually we want all day saturday as well so ds will only get sunday with his dad.

I think I know why it is - I think it is because they spend a lot of time travelling to see the new wifes mum and their extended family and community and ds is a source of shame or 'lack of face' in that community - he wasnt allowed at the wedding either. And yes that maybe is colouring my judgement.

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