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Single Parents - Divorced Adults Group Message Board › Kids meeting the ex's new partner

Kids meeting the ex's new partner

A former member
Post #: 1
I'm a newbie! Just joined the group today and could already use some advice. My divorce was final in March after being married for 12 1/2 years. We have two daughters, ages 8 and 5. I came searching for a support group today because I'm struggling with the idea of when it's "ok" for our daughter's to meet a new partner. My ex-husband has been dating someone for 7 months and wants our girls to meet her (who happens to be 16 years younger than he is) so they can start doing things together. However, I only moved out of the
house six weeks ago and the girls are still adjusting to the change of living in two places. I don't know what to do. My ex and I had a rule that the girls could NOT be exposed to new relationships for a good
portion of time, but he has already broken that rule two times in the last six weeks. To me, this is being selfish and putting himself and his girlfriend before the needs of his own children. Rather than spending time with them one-on-one, he's wanting to do things together with the girls and his girlfriend. I realize all children are different, but I think it's just way too soon. Any advice?
user 6540411
Group Organizer
Madison, WI
Post #: 95
Pam, welcome to the group, and congratulations for jumping right in!

I agree that meeting the new sig other at this point is waaay too soon for your kids, especially as young as yours are. Problem is if he's not going to stick to your agreement (which it appears he is not, and he is being *very* selfish, IMO), there's not a lot you can do, other than try to talk to him, which probably won't work because he'll want what he wants. You can, however, set the example and take the high road by sticking to the agreement yourself.

So, you can always try to discuss the issue with your ex again, but I would strongly suggest that, whatever else you do, you avoid criticizing him to your children about this or any other subject. Not that you would. But if you do get the urge, save it for your friends, or even members of this group. In fact, I volunteer to be a sounding board for anyone, if needed!

Again, I'm not saying you would do that. It's just that I have very strong feelings on that subject having had personal experience growing up with divorced parents who tended to do that. I could deal with my parents living apart, but I did not want to hear about who did what to whom, who was an awful person, and all that. It didn't accomplish anything, I didn't want to hear it, and it was just plain hurtful because it was between them and not me. Sorry, I don't mean to get carried away, but I am very passionate in my opinion on that subject. smile

Anyway, hope that helps. I look forward to meeting you soon.

A former member
Post #: 3
Thanks, Laura. I completely agree. My parent's divorced when I was three years old and my dad had a lot of girlfriends, two of which he was engaged to, so imagine my broken heart as a kid when I found out the engagements were broken off. Anyway, I'm very positive when talking about my ex with my children. There are time I have to give them a pep talk about going to Dad's and remind them how much he loves them. I'm afraid, though, that he's pushing them away, not even realizing it.

I look forward to meeting people here and hope to meet you soon, as well.

A former member
Post #: 8
I'm going to come out of left feild on this one. Few things...maybe I'm bitter.. maybe i'm not over my ex. BUT I know I can no longer influance her (not that I could prior to "D" either). I can not concern myself with her actions.
You are right he's being selfish. But you know what... you can't change/control that. So here is my suggestion... get over the inital disapointment with him.. try to find some middle ground. Maybe suggest to your craddle robbing ex; fine.. do something together, but start out small. take the kids to a park, to a game, something small, and than dad goes home with the kids alone, and what's her name goes home. That will give him the chance to talk about it with the kids one-on-one. Answer any questions they may ask once she's gone. Repeat the process a few times. Maybe your kids are ready and can handle it. I don't know.
In my personal opinion there is no way ANY relationship can last that freshly made out of "D". So I don't believe your ex and barbie will last. And that is where the damage is done. You don't want "strangers" comeing in and out of your children's lives. Young kids expecially need consistancy. "D" throws that right out the window, and bringing new partners into the mix so soon is just not a good idea.
If Kid Sister has kids in the same age bracket, I guess I could be more simpathetic. So in general I agree with you, but the bottom line is he is going to do what he wants to do (assuming no court orders preventing). So what's important to YOU is that you stick to your obviously high morals, and try not to let things like this bug you. This is just the first of many co-parenting issues that will come up. So my suggestion is get over the emotions, make your case, and hope for the best.
This probably didn't help you at all, and I appoligize for the "language", but I was hoping it would make you laugh.
Lake Mills, WI
Post #: 3
Since someone already took left-field, I'll take right. My ex and I have agreed that our daughter can meet their significant other after they have been dating them for six months. It sounds like your kids met the other woman just before or after this. Hopefully, he sees his relationship lasting much longer. If your ex has your girls a significant part of the time, I think he must have made efforts to keep to your agreement. This is assuming your ex and his girlfriend were seeing a fair amount of each other. For me, it's also helpful not being jealous of your ex's relationship. My ex has been dating someone for over seven months and I have, more or less, been able to move on and look to the future.
A former member
Post #: 13
Pam! of course he is selfish, if he was great you would still be with him, right? Hahahaha! OK, so if you haven't figured out, my approach is to develop a huge sense of humor about it all! We are all messing up our kids in some way anyway! Could be something else he is consistent about that ends up scarring them for life more than random women! You never really know until they are adults and you can trace back the things that drive you crazy. In my case, my ex continues to take the kids over to a friends house that was unfriended due to drinking/drugs shortly before we separated. Like Scot said, nothing I can do about it and I am not about to start introducing people to my kids out of spite - although I think I have a great judge of character and would bring much higher quality people into their lives than he will!

My parents were divorced when I was 2. They were very good role models for how to handle yourself in a divorce. They didn't bad mouth each other and were both always there. Their houses are still 5 miles apart to this day (although my dad passed last year). What I will say is that we were allowed to form our own opinions about who they chose to bring in and out of our lives - and we definitely had opinions about it. I met a girl over at UW Baraboo the other day who was really upset with her mom for making her feel she was doing something wrong by enjoying time with her dad's new woman.

So, good for you for recognizing it and I think you will definitely realize the difference between the high road and his road in the relationship you all will have with your kids as adults - and they ultimately spend more time in your life as adults than they do as kids!
A former member
Post #: 67
This was really hard for me because my ex cheated on me and they exposed him to the kids within the first couple of months when the kids weren't even sure what was going on with our family yet. I think because so much happened so early I got used to it quite a bit but it's still challenging for me sometimes to work things out in my mind.

Here's the thing, you can't do anything about the choices your ex makes. If you fight them, it's not going to convince them otherwise, in fact they'll probably want to do it more, and it will only cause tension that can escalate the divorce process in bad directions and will definitely be picked up on by your kids. I've chosen recently to be supportive of their relationship with the kids, which is really hard because I hate the scum bag for exposing himself to my kids so early after cheating with my ex, without any thought of how it would affect the kids or me in a critical and painful time. But my life has moved forward. It's hard knowing his family does things with my girls, but that's just how it is. So, since it looks like they're going to be moving in together, I have a choice. Do I want to be a bitter and resentful person which would probably come between my girlfriend and me, or do I want to help my kids accept their situation so they can feel safe and be happy at both homes. My baggage doesn't have to be my kids' baggage. So my advice is, work on accepting it, because it is what it is, and what you do can either make it something worse, or something better.
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