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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the middle of a situation with my ex that I am uncomfortable with, and I would like other mama's opinions on it.<br>
My ex has just begun a new relationship, and he would like my five year old daughter to stay at his new girlfriend's house the four nights of the week that he watches her (I work overnights 4 nights of the week so I can be home with her during the day everyday, and all weekend). My daughter has stayed over there three or four nights, but she has been expressing that she is uncomfortable staying there.<br>
Some background...my ex has spent the night at my house for the past year and a half on the days that I work. His house is unsuitable for children for a number of reasons, and this has been nice for dd for she always knows where she will be sleeping...the parents just change. He has been in this relationship for only three weeks, and it is the first "serious" relationship that either of us has been in since dd is old enough to really understand "girlfriends" and "boyfriends" and "marriage".<br>
His new girlfriend is a mother of two little girls, and dd appears to like his girlfriend and her daughters. She just seems very uncomfortable sleeping over at her house. The first night that she slept over, she appeared very sad when I picked her up, and she said "I don't have a daddy anymore" We talked a lot about different kinds of families and how her daddy would always love her and be there for her, even if he had a girlfriend. The last night that spent the night there, she threw an enormous tantrum over a blanket that she left at the house. Normally, she does not care about things like that, but this was a HUGE issue to her. She stated all day that she wanted to sleep at her regular house tonight, and when we talked about how she was feeling, she kept saying things like "that house is different" "grandma's house feels like my home, that but that house does not feel like my home". She asked her father if they could have a "normal" night and sleep in her "regular house", and when he pushed her to sleep at his girlfriend's, she had a huge meltdown which ended in her sobbing, clinging to me, and begging me not to go to work (it was so late that I had no choice but to leave, but it was horrible for she was very distraught) Now she keeps asking me not to work anymore, when she used to love having me go to work for it meant her dad coming over.<br>
My thoughts about this whole issue are that it is a brand-new relationship that dd is going to need time and space to get used to. I am not opposed to her spending time with his new girlfriend, but it seems that they should be doing things during the day and gradually getting used to one another...to take things slow. She is clearly expressing that things are moving way too fast, and I really believe that we need to listen to children and respect their feelings about issues like this. My ex's view is that she is uncomfortable because she has only spent a few nights there, and by spending more nights there, it will seem more like her home. I can understand that my ex may not want to continue watching dd at my house (although we have been separated for over four years and have a completely platonic friendship), but he has other choices too. He was contemplating moving in with his family (a safe place that she loves), or he could fix up his house so that it is safe for dd to be there. I think dd would be more comfortable with either of these choices. I have tried to discuss this with my ex, but he has refused to have a conversation about it. Basically, he feels that it is completely his choice, and that I am just trying to interfere in his life and control him. I am really trying to keep my personal beliefs separate from my concern over dd's feelings about that matter. (personally, I would never move in with someone after only three weeks, and I would be very hesitant about letting dd get so close to somebody when the relationship was so new out of concern that she would be hurt if it did not work out)<br><br>
So what are your opinions? Would you feel comfortable with "sleepovers" so soon? What would you do in this situation?<br>
And if you would feel alright with it, or think that it is none of my business, than I want to hear that too!
 

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I would really hesitate to push my child to do something that they are that uncomfortable with unless there is a very compelling reason.. Why does dad need to be at girlfriend's house instead of yours? Is his three week old relationship with her more important than his five year old relationship with his daughter? Is his girlfriend not expected to be understanding and flexible while your daughter is? Hope that doesn't sound too critical. Just ?'s that I would be asking.<br>
As to what did I do when I was a single parent and dating? My hubby and I dated for about three months before sleeping over. I wanted to let my kids know that emotional intimacy is an important precursor to physical intimacy. That's just my value system, but it was important for me to live it in my kid's eyes.
 

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Three weeks is just not long enough of a relationship to get the kids involved IMO. And definately too short of a time for 4 night a week sleep overs for your dd. He has no idea how this relationship is going to turn out. It has huge potential for being painful for your dd. How can he know if he will be with this woman long term? It isn't in the childs best interest for her to form connections with the girlfriend and her children, before he knows this will be a long term relationship. Your dd could end up hurt alot if she forms bonds with them and then the relationship doesn't work out. Especially because he is using his girlfriends house as your daughters second home.<br><br>
Honestly I wouldn't bring my child to my dating relationship until it had become serious and lasted at least a few months (for me probably 6). And it would start with gradual hanging out during the day and trips to the movies or other activities, not sleep overs at the other persons home with their children.<br><br>
It sounds like your ex is either letting his hormones rule or convienance.
 

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No way- no how.<br>
Things stay the way they are so the kids have consistency, no matter how much he wants access to his girlfriends booty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, I completely agree with all of you!<br>
This is such a frustrating situation for I have so little say in it. I have tried to have a mutual discussion in which we could discuss the situation and come to some kind of compromise in which we are both comfortable, but my ex is not willing to even talk about it. His way of dealing with the situation is to wait until the last minute and then state that he is taking her over to his girlfriends' house which leaves me no choice in the situation as I need to be at work (I work with autistic adults and am the only one there at night so I cannot call off work at the last minute). And I have so few options...my family lives in a different city, I am working in a very low paying job so I can spend my awake time with dd which leaves no money to pay a babysitter. I absolutely need to work full-time because I provide about 95% of dd's financial support. The only thing that I could possibly do is look for a job during the day...which I am really hoping not to do as dd would go from having 2 1/2 hr. of school/day to having to be at school for over 9 hours (and all summer long). This is probably the last year that dd does not have to be at school all day long, and I am really trying to make the most of our time together.<br><br>
I have the same questions and concerns...<br>
-ex's new girlfriend is a mother, and I would have hoped that she would be understanding about taking it slowly, but I am getting the impression that she is very not understanding about it.<br>
-I am also worried about her getting close with the girlfriend and girls, and then experiencing a loss if it does not work out. All relationships seem perfect and like they are going to last forever the first month, kwim?<br>
-and why is ex's needs more important than dd's feelings?<br><br>
I am just so frustrated by the whole situation. I work so hard to maintain a good working relationship with my ex...and situations make like this make it so hard to co-parent in a friendly way.<br>
And I am so sad that everytime that we a parenting disagreement, I am portrayed as a controlling b*&^%, rather than a concerned and conscientious parent. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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I'm so sorry that you and your daughter are having to deal with this. I'd suggest posting in the single parenting board if you haven't already becuase the moms there may have some BTDT advice.<br><br>
I'm curious if your ex might be willing to compromise by sleeping at your home, but you allowing him to take dd to the girl friends for say dinner ect until it's time to get ready for bed?<br><br>
Not the ideal situation but at least she gets to sleep at home.<br><br>
Not my business, but I have to say I'm surprised that he is spending so much time with the new girlfriend so quickly and that she is allowing home to sleep over that often with her kids there. Doesn't say too much for her in my book
 

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Gosh, I'm going to sound like Dr Laura here........<br><br>
I'd tell him that when he's married to the new g/f, I'd talk about it.<br><br>
This is outrageous, and would be if it were a g/f of three months - but three weeks???? Stories like this make me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/angry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="angry"> . What on earth is he thinking? Or her, for that matter.<br><br>
I'd stand firm and say no. If necessary, can you change your work arrangements? Or change jobs to be there at night? Personally, I'd rather my child were in good day care for me to work daytimes, than somewhere like that at night, being so unhappy. How confusing for your dd!<br><br>
Or I'd tell him to take it to court and let them decide. He needs his head knocked against something hard to see how 'love' is making him blind.<br><br>
Sorry you're going through this!
 

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faeriedreams,<br>
Are you the legal guardian, or do you have joint custody? Maybe you could go to the judge and discuss this.
 

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No, no, no, no, NO!<br><br>
I would never stand for that. khrisday summed it up beautifully.<br><br>
unfortunately, it sounds like you have no clout right now. that really, really sucks.<br><br>
i'm going to move this to single parenting b/c maybe the mamas there can advise you how to put an end to this. i'm guessing any social worker would see how rotten a deal your dd is getting...
 

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Boy~~ I can relate, my x, married a gal after dating her--long distance--for only 2 months......... I haven't had to confront your situation, but my oldest is definitely uncomfortable with his dad having a new wife. And his dad will absolutely NOT listen to my suggestions about how to handle the whole thing. SO, no advice, just understanding. Keep talking to and listening to your daughter that seems like about all you can do right now. It really is awful for you and your daughter! I am so sorry for her, and you.
 

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I feel for you and this situation.<br>
I think you are being totally respectful & "tuned in" to what your daughter is communicating.<br>
I also understand how difficult trying to discuss these things with the ex -- it suddenly becomes all about "You're trying to control me.. yada, yada, yada."<br><br>
With other changes in her life have you just thrown her into a situation or have you warmed her up to the idea? I try using things in the past, like, you know, this is how they are used to things. Maybe we need to move a little slower. Make this a more gradual change.<br><br>
The sad thing is that your ex doesn't seem to get how this is hurting his relationship with his daughter. If she doesn't like it there & is saying things like "I don't have a daddy" that seems like a clear way of expressing that she wants time alone with him. I think a compromise might work like someone else posted. Is it possible to maybe spend the evening together and then sleep at home. Or how about spending 3 days of the 4 at home and only one overnight.<br><br>
I don't know if you could discuss these things with your ex. I know mine just gets mad, but saying something like, "it may hurt your relationship with her long term" -- well, it might sink in when he thinks about it.<br><br>
When you talk to him, I would suggest not bringing up the girlfriend, keeping the conversation about your daughter & treating it like any other major life change. Maybe keeping it a little more neutral will help him "get" some of what you are saying.<br><br>
And, unfortunately, we cannot control anyone else. Your daughter obviously feels safe to come to you and express these things. I guess if your ex is completely unwilling to change & you do not have other options (be it other ideas or legal grounds), you may have to just figure out the best ways to help your daughter work through the emotions of the whole situtation and find the best tools for her to adapt to the situation at hand.<br><br>
Wish I could wave my magic wand and make it better for you & your little one. I have been facing very similar issues, so I can relate to what you're going through.<br><br>
Peace & love to you ~
 

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I really don't think it's appropriate to allow a child to become attached to a new person after only 3 weeks. I think that they should be introduced gradually, and only after the relationship has proven itself to be long term and steady - not that anyone can truly judge that... but children become attached easily, and have expectations. I think it's too early!!!
 
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