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Co-Parenting Relationships?

vb25915n's picture

Good Morning!

New poster here and am hoping to gain some insight from all of you Smile Have been with my partner for a little over a year now. His now ex-wife (divorce was only finalized a few weeks ago) always stated she did not want the children meeting any new partners until the divorce was finalized. I agreed. I thought it was good not to throw too much at the children. I am also a product of divorced parents and know this dynamic can be a delicate situation. I also always wanted to meet his ex-wife prior to meeting the children because I thought it was the appropriate and respectful thing to do.

Towards the end of October, my partner found out through his daughter that the mother's new boyfriend had been spending the night. This totally caught us off guard as it seemed the previous understanding had been thrown out the window. My partner and I also found it unsettling that a strange man was sleeping over with his 2 small children. We immediately asked for everyone to meet. We thought it would be best for everyone to know who was around the children, and I could meet the ex as well.  It seemed obvious and proper coparenting to me. We were met with total resistance from the ex. The secrecy seems totally off to me. And the fact that a mother wouldn't be interested in meeting who will be around her kids? I just don't get it.

I am also confused now as to when it is best for me to meet the children. How much change should they be exposed to in under a year? Any insight would be helpful. Thanks!



Sparkl3s's picture

My advise to you because a few things you mentioned struck a cord. 

Remove yourself from the relationship your SO has with the BM. It is the best decision I have made in my adult life. It is clear that the BM wants nothing to do with you and her rules for your SO only apply to him and you, she has set the tone for doing whatever suits her when it suits her. If it's not in the divorce decree IGNORE IGNORE IGNORE, it took awhile for my SO to stop allowing the dark cloud BM to micromanage his time with the kiddos. (Can't see xyz movies bc she wanted to take them, can't give them xyz for Xmas bc it makes her look bad, etc...) If she does anything that you can't stand let your SO that you are not okay as soon as it happens. My big thing was last minute changes of plans without MY TIME being taken into consideration (I don't want to dictate his relationship I just want to know when I shouldn't  walk around the house naked.) 

All communication with her is handled by my husband I used to let her bullshit antics annoy me and I'd let her I'll treatment towards my than BF annoy me. She still gets too much space in my head but letting go was the best thing I have ever done. 

As for meeting the children that is now up to your SO, you don't need her permission unless she was allowed to put in some shi!ttyclause in the divorce decree that only applies to your bf. They have obviously already met BM's guy, my only suggestion is that your give them age appropriate truth. BM introduced all the men as friends, I was introduced as the girlfriend. 

good luck! 

vb25915n's picture

ty for the advice! i think i realized soon after her resistance that i needed to remove myself from the situation and that rules don't seem to apply to her. i still find it strange, i was only trying to do the right thing. i guess my main concern with meeting the kids is what is too much for them to swallow? a year is a short time frame for their parents to split dad to move out and mom to introduce a new bf.

Sparkl3s's picture

This might sound horrible but you can't be more worried about the skids than their biological parents are or you are going to drive yourself crazy. 

Figure out what you want from the relationship and what type of relationship you want with the kids. I could see their mom was going to take it out on them if they liked me too much, so I've never gotten too involved.

I chose self preservation and to never have contact with their mom because I can't control my face and it will cause direct issues for my husband. *shrug*





Ispofacto's picture

If they trusted each other enough to breed kids together, they can trust each other enough to choose when to introduce the kids to their new partners.  Barring criminal negligence, neither has any say in who the other one dates or when.


vb25915n's picture

well i guess neither of us whole heartedly trust her. a huge reason they split was because she adopted extreme religious views later in her life.

tog redux's picture

Yeah, no meet-and-greet with new partners, that's just weird to me. What if BM doesn't approve, does she get the final say? Just meet her when the opportunity arises, at a pick up or at a school event.

Of course BM is a hypocrite about not introducing the kids to someone she dates, but how is it worse for her to have someone over than for your SO to have you over? Both need to let the other live their lives without interference.

ETA: As for the kids, don't meet them until you and SO are serious about a long-term relationship.


vb25915n's picture

well i think the difference is that i have not spent time with her children or slept over with them because that was what she requested. and if she refuses to meet me that is fine i guess, but i never wanted her to feel like she had no idea who her children were with. i wanted her to be comfortable.

Jcksjj's picture

Nope. You'll see that type of crap pushed alot other places, but all it does is cause drama and set up too loose of boundaries going forward. Trust me, you'll be feeling very differently about it when its BM trying to tell you what's acceptable in your house.

strugglingSM's picture

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that BM's love to set rules for their ex, but don't feel that those same rules apply to them. 

In my case, BM told DH that she had to approve all "living situations" including any new homes or apartments DH would have. Meanwhile, she moved SSs to a new house to live with her SO and his child, less than four months after she filed for divorce. 

She also insisted that language be added to their agreement that DH couldn't play video games rated M in front of the children, then of course, her SO was a big gamer, so she bought both children games rated M (including Grand Theft Auto, which features first person drug use and prostitutes who you can kill after they provide their "services" to get your money back) when they were 8 and let them play those games, online, in the comfort of their own rooms, with no superivision. 

She still insists that DH follow "the parenting plan" and not communicate with her through the children (which is not actually in the parenting plan), yet every week, we hear from one or the other SS "mom says you need to do this..." or "mom told us we don't have to do that..." or "mom says you need to bring us home early..." When DH tells her to please communicate with him directly, she says, "you told me that you don't want to hear from me, so I have no choice other than to communicate with you through the children!" Meanwhile, DH never communicates with her through the children...he just rarely communicates with her and she can't stand that. 

Follow the advice above, don't force a relationship with BM. She sounds like she just wants to be in control...and that she hasn't fully given up on your SO wanting her back.