Treading lightly, with a question... - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-15-2005, 11:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband and I have been seperated for a little over two years. He had a long-term affair, and finally left me when our youngest (we have three kids) was 4 months old. He continued to see her for quite a while, and showed little to no interest in our kids while he was with her. I encouraged him to spend time with the kids, but he almost always did it here, and the kids were never even introduced to her.

He is now on girlfriend #2, and he is living with her. My kids met her several times last summer (summer of '04), but didn't know at that time that they were seeing each other - they always just "met up" when he had the kids. Ironically, he was cheating on girlfriend #1 with girlfriend #2.

Back in the Spring he finally told me about girlfriend #2, and said he wanted to take the kids to the zoo with her and her two girls. At that time I didn't know it was serious, and I discussed with him the idea that we should lay some ground rules about who we introduce our kids too - ground rules that would work both ways. I explained to him that if it was serious I had no problems with the kids spending time with her, but that I felt it was something we should discuss with the kids together - not something that we should just throw them into unaware. He agreed with that, and zoo plans were put on hold.

A few weeks went by without him even coming to see the kids, let alone making time for a discussion with me/them, then he called me and told me he wanted to take the kids fishing for a couple of hours. I asked him if it was just going to be him and them and he said yes. He lied. Instead of taking them fishing, he took them to an amusement park with the girlfriend and her kids, and instead of bringing them home by 6:00 (which is when *he* said he'd bring them home, I didn't specify a time that I wanted them home, I just wanted him to let me know so I could make plans/not worry) he brought them home after 10:00, and didn't even bother to call me to tell me that they would be late. I'm sure you can all imagine how worried I was....

Sooo - let's fastforward. He hasn't taken them (or asked to take them) anywhere since May. He called yesterday and said he wanted to take them to a pumpkin patch today with girlfriend and her kids. I reminded him of the discussion we had had, and that I still felt it was something we should talk about together and with the kids. He really pressured me, and I let the kids go today. This time they were only 2 1/2 hours late.

Now (finally!) here's my question. Obviously this girlfriend is going to stay around. They are living together. And honestly, if he's happy, that's fine with me. I just feel like I should know something about her other than her name. If this lady is going to be spending time with my kids, shouldn't I at least meet her? Would it be totally weird of me to call her? I brought it up to him and he totally brushed me off. Heaven only knows what he's told her about me - I'm sure I'm being portrayed as a total bitch - I would like her to know that I'm really an okay person, and I'd like to know the same about her. Is that so wrong? Would it have totally weirded you out to have the ex call you to discuss the future? Any advice?
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Old 10-16-2005, 12:32 AM
 
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As a stepmom, I would have been thrilled if the kids' biomom called me. Her strategy has always been to pretend that I don't exist, which I don't think is in anyone's best interest.

If you approach it in a very friendly way - hey, looks like you're going to be around, I wondered if we could get together sometime and get to know each other a little bit....... If she has a problem with that, there may be a problem. I believe that a good step-mom will try to have a friendly relationship with the biomom.

And as a stepmom, I think it's perfectly reasonable for a biomom to want to meet the woman who helps take care of her children.
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Old 10-16-2005, 03:49 AM
 
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I would have a problem with the lying and the lateness, but yes I would call her. I did with my ex's new wife, and I had several nice conversations with her until I realized that she was lying and blowing smoke up my butt as well. Will not go into it, as it was a few years ago and life is sooo much better now. Now, I laugh at their pettiness, lying, selfish but oh so Christian ways.

The children come first, and if you keep yourself above reproach, their world will be better.
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Old 10-17-2005, 11:25 PM
 
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Hi there. I agree that you should know something more about this woman. My stepkids live with their mother in a different state. We are only able to fly the kids down once or twice a year to visit,but they are staying with me a week at a time when they do, and I will be a small part of their lives forever. However, their mother has never wanted anything to do with me. The few times we have been within speaking range of one another when we have gone to visit them, she hasn't even said hello. She won't even look at me (and she left my dh, by the way). It drives me insane! As a mom myself, I can't imagine ever having my dd spend time with anyone without at least having a conversation with them.

If this woman is living with your ex, and your children will be spending time with her, than I feel you have every right to demand meeting her. I realize that demand is a strong word, but this woman is going to be a part of their lives to some extent, and you have a right to know something about her other than what your ex tells you.
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Old 10-18-2005, 12:22 AM
 
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ya know she is am other herself. Surely she will understand the importance of you two meeting. I think if you are friendly and chatty it will be fine. maybe awkward but hey thats life. I do not think this is in anyway disresepctful to your xh. you ghave him the chance. this is no diferent than you calling up thier teacher, daycare provider or whoever for a friendly chat.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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Old 10-18-2005, 08:08 PM
 
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I think it's a great idea to call her up! You never know, maybe she's totally nice and he never told her what time the kids were supposed to be back those times. Be nice to have an ally in getting him on track.

Apart from that, I'd absolutely have a problem with the on-again, off-again visits with his kids and the lateness. Not cool at all.
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Old 10-19-2005, 04:27 PM
 
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I think you are absolutley right! Give her a call, and just let her know that you would like to get to know her a little better because of your little ones, just like she would if the roles were reversed If she is a good person and has no hidden agenda of any kind (other than maybe she would be nervous) Then she should have no problems with that. I think this would be a posative interaction for the kids as well as the adults.

Rhonda DW to Mike and DM to DD Jaci 18 and DS Tyler 15- also GM to Zander 6 mo
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Old 10-19-2005, 04:37 PM
 
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I think you should meet her if she is willing, if only for your kids sakes, and if you can at least be on civil terms it will be better for everyone especially the kids. Its so upsetting when parents cannot be adults about raising their DC if they are divorced or not, and we have the same problem with DH's ex lying and dumping on the kids, and it really hurts them, and sorry your kids dad is doing this to them, it gets very upsetting. I wish my stepkids natural mother would have met with me and not tried to make her kids hate me (they don't) and wish we could have a better relationship with her, so I think thats great you are willing to do that, and hope it works out, who knows she might be a good thing for your kids when they are with their Dad.

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Old 10-20-2005, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your advice, and for understanding where I was coming from! However, it might not matter anymore, because Sunday night she threw him out - - - guess we'll have to wait and see if they get back together....
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