Introducing the new partner while the kids are still in therapy?? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 11 Old 09-13-2011, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
marshmel5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

First time poster here!  I was posed with a difficult situation this past weekend by the soon to be ex husband.  I will give a little background...Separated in November 2010 after 14 years together, divorce will be final in December of this year.  Two kids together, boy 10 and a girl 8.  The soon to be ex and I had a verbal agreement that we would wait until the divorce was final before we introduced anyone else to the children. 

 

This past Saturday the ex called me to ask me if I was okay with him introducing his new gf to the kids.  My initial reaction was, why are we even having this conversation?  We already agreed to a time.  As it turns out, in his haste to have this woman in his life, he foolishly (yes, my opinion) introduces her to his family.  Which included his sister's two small children.  Once he did this, he realized that his niece and nephew might talk and tell their cousins (my kids) that they had met their daddy's new girlfriend.  And as he was going down for a birthday party with the family on Sunday, he was afraid it might happen then.  So in essence, he created this situation for himself, whether he did it intentionally or not, I can't say.  All I can say is that I think it was a crappy thing to do to his children.  Nothing like being the last to know or having your 8 year old cousin rub it in that they met the gf before you did.  Sigh. 

 

My issue isn't with him introducing her to the kids.  My issue is that the kids just started therapy to help them deal with the divorce.  My daughter has a tough time sleeping.  Cries at night about how she doesn't understand why mommy and daddy can't still be together.  So, I really don't think they are ready for this.  We haven't even got to the point in the therapy where they get a few minutes alone with the therapist to discuss their feelings.  It is still the four of us together.  I made my case to the ex that I didn't feel they were ready and that our daughter would probably have a breakdown over it eventually.  He told me that she was really excited about meeting his new gf.  Well duh, it is a teacher at your school that our kids already know.  I doubt my kids would be as excited to meet a perfect stranger.  It is my opinion that he is blinded by that fact and that our kids are still hurting from the separation and divorce and that we should wait a few months more.  At least until they are done with therapy.   

 

So I would appreciate anyone's input on this subject, whether you have been there before, have observed it happening, etc.  My concern, first and foremost, is for my children's well being.  I have a boyfriend of my own and was intending to introduce him to the kids in January, holding up my end of the agreement.  Which regardless of what the ex does, I will more than likely wait on my end because I feel it is the right thing to do. 

marshmel5 is offline  
#2 of 11 Old 09-13-2011, 12:00 PM
 
floss&ferd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,547
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)

I 100% agree with you on waiting.   At least until the divorce is final and I would probably ask the therapist their opinion as well.  But although you can discuss it with him, you can't really stop him from it.  Kinda just have to let it go.  

 

So do the kids already know the gf since she works at their school?   


Mama to three crazy kids and one crazier dog.  biggrinbounce.gif

floss&ferd is offline  
#3 of 11 Old 09-13-2011, 02:09 PM
 
zoeyzoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,631
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)

I agree it's better to wait if the divorce is still that upsetting to them. Having said that it sounds like he has his mind made up. If that is the case does he have to introduce her as a GF just yet? Why can't she be a good friend and later a GF?

zoeyzoo is online now  
#4 of 11 Old 09-13-2011, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
marshmel5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

The situation is:  He is a principal and she is a teacher.  They used to work at the same school and she has since been moved to another school.  In April of 2010 we had a huge blow out because I saw some texts on his phone that were from her.  My seeing them was 100% completely by accident.  I'm not a snooper and honestly didn't care if he had girl friends.  However, he would turn his back to me when he would text her, which obviously aroused my suspicions.  This is also coming from the man who accused me over the last 5 years of having an affair with every man I know, even my coworkers.  Gosh that got old.  Long story short, we decided to work things out.  So I did my best to give him everything he asked for including visiting him at his school.  The first day I did that, I showed up at his school unannounced as a surprise with flowers.  When I walked in his office, he looked guilty of something.   He didn't even get up to hug me or thank me for the flowers.  It was just really weird.  So he takes me around the school and introduces me to all of these teachers, and guess what.  She is the only teacher that doesn't smile or say hi to me.  She is the only teacher not excited to meet their boss's wife.  Hmmm...arouse my suspicion a little more why don't we.  Turns out he was using her as an emotional confidant about our relationship.  He won't admit to anything more than that, even though my gut tells me there is and was more considering she is now his gf.  All of this from the man who believed flirting is cheating, but once was trapped in his own net of flirting, retracted his beliefs to fit his needs. 

 

The kids would frequently go to his school (they don't go to his school or her new school) to hang out for the day when they were off from their school.  So yes, they have already spent time with her in her classroom helping her.  I am sure she is a great person, and I am wholeheartedly trying to put my hurt feelings aside over the situation so I can focus only on what is best for the kiddos.  I guess in a way I feel vindicated, as he was always accusing me when I had done nothing wrong, and now it seems he was projecting his guilty feelings of his own infidelities on me the whole time.  I feel somewhat emotionally abused by the whole situation.  =(  Not to mention the argument we had the other night about right of first refusal in which he called me a controlling b**** and told me I was the reason our kids didn't have friends.  Sometimes, I don't know where he gets this stuff.

 

So...of course I can see why the kids are excited to meet her.  They know her.  Have spent time with her.  And I'm sure she was nice to them.  Which I am grateful for in the sense that she (hopefully) truly likes my kids.  However, with that said, I believe that simple fact of them already knowing her is masking the feelings they are going to have when he kisses her in front of them for the first time, or chooses to spend time with her instead of him.  Which is exactly what he is doing on his birthday weekend in a few weeks.  That is when they are meeting her for the first time.  She is coming over so they can meet, then he is leaving them with friends for the night so he can go out with her.  Therein lies the right of first refusal issue we had. 

 

OMG...that was a long story!!  Sorry!! 

 

And to answer your question, he has already told them he has a girlfriend.  When the kids asked if I had a boyfriend, I told them that there was a man that I liked to spend time with when they are not around, but I'm not calling him my boyfriend.  AND they didn't seem to be as excited at the prospect of meeting him, further proving my case.  I know that all men aren't this awful, because I have been fortunate to meet a really genuine man who cares for me and my kids even before he has met them.

 

Can I also say that the night he decided to leave for good, this man told me I was no longer attractive, that he had only agreed to work things out because of our daughter, and that he never intended to follow through with the marriage counselor I had set an appointment with.  WOW...talk about some serious blows for me. 

 

marshmel5 is offline  
#5 of 11 Old 09-13-2011, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
marshmel5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

One last thing, we have a therapy session on Thursday.  Is this something you guys think I should bring up in our group session or should I try to get a hold of the therapist beforehand to just let her know what is happening so she can maybe make a good segue in to the topic without creating tension between everyone? 

marshmel5 is offline  
#6 of 11 Old 09-13-2011, 04:22 PM
 
cheryl mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Of course you're upset that he's breaking the agreement you had, but you really can't control what he does. You can do what you think is right and wait to introduce your kids to anyone new in your life and, when you do, make it a very gradual process. Above all, avoid bad-mouthing their dad (they still love him, and it would just make you look bad in the end).

 

You mentioned being "done" with therapy. I would continue therapy for the kids as long as you possibly can. The separation and divorce process, being apart from you or their father for certain periods of time, and all the logistics of sharing custody over the next several years will be an issue for your kids (on some level) for many years. A therapist can help them as their feelings evolve over time. As for now, since he's going to go ahead with this introduction no matter how you feel about it, you and your kids will benefit from having the insight of a professional.

 

I wish you the best.

cheryl mama is offline  
#7 of 11 Old 09-13-2011, 05:53 PM
 
Holland73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Urban Jungle on the Bay
Posts: 2,756
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by cheryl mama View Post

Of course you're upset that he's breaking the agreement you had, but you really can't control what he does. You can do what you think is right and wait to introduce your kids to anyone new in your life and, when you do, make it a very gradual process. Above all, avoid bad-mouthing their dad (they still love him, and it would just make you look bad in the end).

 

You mentioned being "done" with therapy. I would continue therapy for the kids as long as you possibly can. The separation and divorce process, being apart from you or their father for certain periods of time, and all the logistics of sharing custody over the next several years will be an issue for your kids (on some level) for many years. A therapist can help them as their feelings evolve over time. As for now, since he's going to go ahead with this introduction no matter how you feel about it, you and your kids will benefit from having the insight of a professional.

 

I wish you the best.

 

  yeahthat.gif  Very well said, cheryl mama.  Unfortunately, she is right... you cannot control him and what he does with the kids during his time.  It's one of the most difficult aspects of divorce with children.  And, I also agree, keep your kids in therapy as long as you can afford it. 

 

As for your question about talking with the therapist about this new development... I would not bring it up during a group session with the kids.  Contact the therapist before your scheduled appointment and explain the situation.   It might be a good idea for you and your X to have a session alone without the kids.  
 

 

Holland73 is online now  
#8 of 11 Old 09-14-2011, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
marshmel5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I agree that I can't control him.  That really is not and was not my intention with the limit on waiting to introduce a new party in to the kids' lives, because I myself do not want to be controlled.  My only interest is what is best for the kids.  =) 

 

I did call and speak to the therapist yesterday and asked her if we could have a few minutes of her time alone without the kids to discuss the issue and she said that would probably be best anyways.  However, I received a text late last night that the kids had met the girlfriend.  I am honestly baffled as to why there was such a rush to get her introduced.  But I guess I shouldn't be surprised after everything I went through with him.  It was always me me me with him, and unfortunately, it doesn't look to have changed.  It only adds to my struggle to be as selfless as possible with the kids and do everything I can in my power and our lives together to make sure they know they come first. 

 

My daughter told me that her dad is going out with his friends for his birthday and that is why she was going to her friend's house for the night.  I said that I was sure his gf had something nice planned for him.  She looked at me and said, oh no mommy, daddy is going out with his friends, not his gf.  Sigh.  I know she is too young to even see the truth of the matter, and I wonder how hurt she is going to be when she learns that he chose to spend his birthday with the gf and not her as he means the absolute world to her.  I hope I am reading the situation completely wrong and that she won't be affected by it, but as a child of divorce myself, where my father was my world as well, I remember how I felt in similar situations.  Only time will tell. 

 

I am planning on keeping the kids in therapy as long as I can.  Even if he isn't willing to go anymore as a family unit, I think it is necessary. 

 

I really appreciate the honesty of your posts ladies.  I struggle with quite a few things with him, but I also recognize that it could be so much worse and hopefully it doesn't get worse with the introduction of the gf. 

 

With all of that aside, I am trying to deal with my own feelings of being replaced.  Not with him as his partner obviously, but as the central woman figure in my kids' lives. 

marshmel5 is offline  
#9 of 11 Old 09-14-2011, 10:40 AM
 
cheryl mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Do NOT worry about being replaced by another woman in their life. You will always be number one to your kids, no matter who else they meet or spend time with! That's why you need to be strong and be the best mom you can be. :)

cheryl mama is offline  
#10 of 11 Old 09-14-2011, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
marshmel5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I will admit that it was extremely difficult to bear my daughters excitement of meeting the gf.  I know the excitement comes from her already knowing her and her being a "fun" teacher.  I am grateful that my kids at least like her and hopefully she is a decent person, as I really know nothing about her other than I suspect her of being the woman that finished off my marriage.  So of course that makes it that much harder to smile and be happy that the kids are happy. 

 

I appreciate the encouragement.  I will see how the next few weeks go.  :-)

marshmel5 is offline  
#11 of 11 Old 09-16-2011, 06:15 AM
 
floss&ferd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,547
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)

 

 

I understand it's a hard situation and difficult to smile and be happy, but hopefully she will be nice to your kids.   And if she is, it will eventually get easier.


Mama to three crazy kids and one crazier dog.  biggrinbounce.gif

floss&ferd is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off