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Sad and annoyed.

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
My ex and his partner are splitting up. She has a daughter about DD's age. They were only together for a little while, but their relationship took off quickly and they moved in together right away. DD spent the summer with them and now she loves to tell me about her new sister and how she has two mommies and two daddies... bleh. I'm not going to tell her they split up--he can explain that to her himself.

I adore his partner and wish they could have made it work. But mostly, who drags kids through the mud like this? Why move your kid into a new man's house after a couple weeks of dating if you aren't willing to even try counseling if things go wrong? Why take a child and tell them they have a new sister and step-mommy--for a few weeks? It's cruel.

Sometimes things just don't work out. That's fine. But this is why we put in the parenting agreement that we won't introduce DD to new partners for at least six months! I looked the other way because she had already moved in, but had he waited that six months? They would have broken up already, and she and DD never would have met. It's ridiculous.

How many divorces does my kid need to go through?
post #2 of 5
Ugh, that is so terrible. I think you should definitely have a conversation with your ex about why he needs to stick to the parenting agreement. Unfortunately, people are getting hurt right now because he chose not to follow those guidelines and he should take responsibility for that.

What he and his STBX did was flat out irresponsible. So sorry this happened to your DD.
post #3 of 5
SOOOO in agreement with you!

Things went similarly with my ex. Not too long after we broke up, his new GF and her son (just a couple years older than our twin sons) moved in with him. We, too had a written agreement not to have BFs/GFs spend the night when the kids were with us and not to shack up before getting married. I hope you will find your agreement enforceable, because ours was not. It's still valuable to get stuff like that down on paper, just to clarify your best, mutual intentions from the beginning. And 90% of what my ex and I put in our agreement, we have stuck to... for 13 years! But "moral" clauses that go way above and beyond standard state laws are hard to get a court to take seriously, if you actually go that far toward trying to enforce them.

Anyway, for a while everything at my ex's place was "Step-Mom" this and "brothers" that. His and my mutual friends assumed my discomfort with the arrangement showed I "hadn't moved on". It was really humiliating to know people thought that, because I wasn't still hung up on him and I didn't care that he had someone new. Like you, I just didn't want my kids to get attached to pseudo-family-members whom I felt sure would "disappear", one day. Curiously, it was my ex's mother who observed (in her never-to-be-diplomatic way ) that I had moved on and it was he who hadn't. I didn't need to jump into a new relationship. I was OK with my life as it was, until just the right guy came along. (And he did, many years later. Now we're married!) Whereas, my ex's GF was nice and all, but no one who knew my ex well really saw him marrying her or staying with her, long-term. I think (and his mom thought) he needed reassurance that he could make a relationship work and he liked the comfort of having a little boy around, to keep his mind off the fact that much of the time his own little boys weren't there. Perhaps it was the same for your ex.

Anyway, one summer while the twins and I were away visiting relatives, my ex's GF and her son did, indeed, disappear from the picture. Luckily, the twins were young then and took it in stride. Their Dad has gotten married - for real - and their stepmom is great. But every once in a while, they say something that makes it clear they think she is their Dad's second wife, since me! I don't correct this, because it's my ex's mess to explain to them... and I don't know whether it's better for them to think he has an extra divorce under his belt, or to think he was just shacking up. ???? But it does bother me that they were allowed to feel that her son was their step-brother and now he's completely out of their lives, as though he never should have mattered to them, outside the relationship between their parents. I wonder if/how that affects how they view their stepbrother in my marriage, and the half-brothers they now have, on both sides of their family?
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post
I think (and his mom thought) he needed reassurance that he could make a relationship work and he liked the comfort of having a little boy around, to keep his mind off the fact that much of the time his own little boys weren't there. Perhaps it was the same for your ex.
This might be true. I was pretty restless towards the end of our relationship, and his lack of emotional forthcomingness was a huge issue in our relationship from the very beginning. Considering how hot and heavy their relationship began, it seems like *maybe* he was trying to prove to himself that he could be "that guy", the crazy, passionately-in-love guy that sweeps a woman off her feet. And I think their problem is that he couldn't sustain it, she expected it, and she took the drop-off in verbal professions of undying love as a sign that he didn't care about her anymore (yes, I'm friends with both of them... sigh).

Maybe it was just doomed to failure, but I really like them both and now I want to kick both of them for being so daft, reckless, and completely immature. Love and passion are all well and good but we have kids to think about here, and the kids want and need loving parents who stick around for more than ten minutes. They don't need confusion, insecurity, and distrust regarding who to love in their lives. DD's going to be heartbroken and it just pisses me off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post
I wonder if/how that affects how they view their stepbrother in my marriage, and the half-brothers they now have, on both sides of their family?
I worry about this. I'm pretty sure DD's not going to have quite the same enthusiasm about a new step-sibling if her dad remarries someone with kids. Or, she might--she's a sweet, loving kid. But I've done my best to make her dad's and my divorce as pain-free as possible for her, and I feel like all my work is being undone. I don't want her to view family relationships as transient.

I do have to say, though, that in our situation I'm so, so glad that we don't have 50/50 custody. She lives here with me except for the summers and Christmas and Easter vacations. Her world would be so much more confused right now if she was living with them half-time... but then again, she would have at least gotten to say goodbye.
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoulCakes View Post
but then again, she would have at least gotten to say goodbye.
I wouldn't lose sleep over that one. Goodbyes are overrated. It would've been a very painful moment that felt like a big deal and could not possibly have satisfied anyone, with some pop-psych ideal of "closure". What? After coming to think of each other as sisters, a "final goodbye" and the tearful, heart-wrenching process of watching each other get smaller as her mom's car drove away would somehow heal them from the break-up of what they thought was a family? No. The real big deal is the relationship they had. Maybe they'll find each other on Facebook and resume being part of each other's lives, when they're old enough not to depend on their parents for transportation. Maybe they'll just harbor sweet memories of the time they were almost sisters. Either of those things would be genuine and meaningful. Don't worry. She didn't miss anything, not saying goodbye.
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