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HELP! Recent divorce and ex is now dating a child!!

OptimisticMe's picture

My ex and I got divorced (he is incapable of being faithful).  We have a verbal agreement not to bring bf/gf around the kids before dating for at least 6 months.  The ex not only broke that agreement, but his gf is 18 or 19 years old.  His daughter (my sd) is also my sd is weirded out and my kids are seeing this inappropriate relationship.  I threatened I would decrease his parenting time and increase child support if he exposes them to her...but really, what can I do?  I can't control I just accept that his baby gf will be smooching him around my kids and accept that they will eventually need therapy?


It kills me that I chose this man to be their father...and I can't protect them from everything.

Iamwoman's picture

The courts will definitely see having a strange young woman, who is basically still a child, in the home with the kids dad as his girlfriend as a very negative thing.

If you press the issue in court, you could possibly take away some of his parenting time. This behavior of his is basically legal pedophilia, and a good judge would see it for what it is.

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

No it is not pedophilia. The girl is 18 or 19. That makes her an adult and perfectly legal for the man to date. Depending on the state age of consent may be as low as 16. Even then the legality of all this is based on sexual interaction but that's a tangent.

While a lot of us are understandably disturbed about this legally her being much younger is not enough to change anything. Again she is an adult.

OP also reports there was no legal agreement in the CO about morality so the man can take anyone he wants around the kids and move in whoever he wants.

OP’s best approach is to work with a GAL to let the kids speak. If they all feel like the oldest and they themselves are old enough then OP may be able to get more time but then again the man hasn’t done anything to show he doesn’t deserve to be a father in the courts eyes.

Please don’t take this as me saying that this is something amazing and I’d love for some I know to do this. I’m saying that legally there is nothing wrong here. Morally is a different issue and a court can’t deal in morality. They have to follow laws.

ldvilen's picture

Can I ask what you think you'd be protecting them from?  You = adult; Ex = adult; Ex's GF = adult.  18 is considered adult age in the US, anyway.  Were the plans that neither of you ever date or move on?  You mentioned a verbal agreement with your ex- to wait at least 6 months before bringing gf/bfs around the kids, and he broke it, for whatever reason.  So, your beef should be only with him on that issue.  Not sure how that translates into "getting back at him" via decreasing his parenting time (which would cause angst for the children as well) or increasing his child support.

That is what happens after a divorce.  People move on.  There are no laws in the US protecting men or women from dating some other when they are even married, much less after they are divorced.   

No, it is not "legal pedophilia."  The woman is 18, possibly 19.  This is adult age in the US.  No difference between her being 18 and 38 or even 58.  And, an unbiased judge should look at it that way as well.

Iamwoman's picture

We are all entitled to our opinions, but it is a scientific fact that the human brain isn’t mature until adulthood until ages 23-25. I remember being younger and thinking I was an adult just like every other adult regardless of age, and you’re correct that the law is 18=legal adult. However, that wasn’t always the case in the US. The age of legal adulthood was changed from 21 to 18 during the world wars in order to recruit more soldiers. So, at one point in time, humans actually recognized  the fact that an 18 year old, mentally, IS STILL very much a child. A forty-something year old man has no business going after a child-woman, even if by legal definition she is an adult.

Courts, and any judge worth their salt will recognize the situation for what it is. I have been through the court system long enough to know for sure that a live-in boyfriend or girlfriend is certainly frowned upon in family court. The OP can and SHOULD take this back to court with the assistance of a good attorney who may be able to convince even the most misogynistic of judges to see the situation for what it is.

Iamwoman's picture

Also, forgot to mention, the cervix is just barely biologically ready for child birth at 18. For some women, it’s 19-22. This is why teen pregnancy often results in a c-section. The term “babies having babies” is more true than most people think.

We have been brainwashed to believe through thousands of years of Greco-Roman culture (a culture ripe with both man on girl and man on boy pedophilia, that as soon as a girl has breasts, this must mean she is a woman. That is equivalent to saying that as soon as a boy has a bit of facial hair, he is a man. Science has evolved to determine that biologically, boys and girls mature at about the same rate. It’s the poor girls who mature outwardly early, and the innards catch up later, but in the meantime they are being treated as adults and leered at by older men who cloak their perversion with explanations like “well, she sure LOOKS like a woman” (I’m sorry, but a teen has a very different look than a twenty four year old), or “well, legally she’s an adult.” I know we all like to think that we’re strong and not victims of this chauvinism, but science proves otherwise. The OP’s ex is a pedophile biologically. Just not legally, thanks to the World Wars.

beebeel's picture

Lol no one is saying that this relationship is super healthy. It is not illegal and isn't against the CO. Millions of unhealthy relationships exist. Courts aren't going to intervene.

Iamwoman's picture

Lol! I never once said it’s illegal. That’s the tragedy of it.

The courts will more often intervene in a situation like this than not, especially with the toddler being in the same bed as daddy’s child-woman girlfriend. I wouldn’t have made that statement if it weren’t true and there weren’t a multitude of cases wherein timesharing was lost due to a live-in lover.

I know you love to play devil’s advocate Beebeel, but I don’t give advice lightly.

ldvilen's picture

I didn't see in original post that BF and DH were living together.  Are you making huge assumptions here?  This is the year 2018 and not 1948 or 1978 or 2008.  What used to be legal back when doesn't matter.  It used to be legal to smoke anywhere too, and I don't need to tell you that there were even far worse things that used to be legal.  They are not now, so what is the point?

I do agree with you, tho., that the ex- or BM can spin it anyway she wants to make it look as hideous as she wants.  Happens all the time.  And, I also agree that some court may take her up on that (insert tears here).  In that case, I would consider her "crime" much worse than dad dating an alledged 18-19 YO.  What is it worth for an ex- to get her way?  I'm sure too, as you say, she can talk this over with her lawyer and come up with something to justify cutting her children's time with dad and punish him for daring to move on before her and gasp! daring to date a younger woman.

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

As you said thought the law was changed and 18 is considered an adult. Heck some states it's as low as 16. And then there are Romeo and Juliet laws but that’s something different.

A judge would understand the discomfort and many of us would agree that an 18 year old is not fully matured. For females the brain doesn’t mature fully until about 23 while males it’s 26 if I’m correct BUT LEGALLY it’s 18. No judge can prosecute him for dating someone that age. If the judge does anything based on the woman’s age alone he would open himself to a lawsuit and possibly being disbarred from the bench because LEAGALLY the man is doing nothing wrong.

Again get a GAL and let the kids speak for themselves. Don’t go to court saying “He’s sick” because that’s an opinion, one many of us share, but still opinion. Let the kids explain that they don’t feel comfortable because that will have much more standing in a court room.

ESMOD's picture

How old are your kids?  That might make a difference in the kind of response people will provide.

Unfortunately, a verbal agreement is not going to hold a lot of weight... anything you wanted done should have been in the separation agreement. 

Now, here is the tough part.  Unless this woman poses a danger to your kids... it may be tough to get a lot of traction unless there was some stipulation in the CO to wait before introducing ..or no overnight visitors ever.. etc..   Besides things like that are so difficult to prove anyway.. When is the start date on dating etc?

It sounds like you just really don't like the fact that she is young and your kids see their father basically acting a fool with a young girl.  that isn't illegal.  He could be acting just as foolishly with an older  So, will the kids have irreperable damage from seeing him date? honestly.. probably not.

They are only likely going to need therapy if you try to tell them that what their father is doing is wrong.. and that would be a PAS move.  So, unless this woman is actually causing harm to your kids.. (dating him isn't) then this is one of the things that divorced people sometimes have to stomach.. the ex dates someone they would rather not be around the kids... once you divorce the ability to control goes waaaay down.


MoominMama's picture

I was also thinking this Idvilen. The whole situation is very weird i agree but theres nothing illegal there. He is trying to show off and she is probably a needy person who cant relate to her own age group. 

IAMWOMAN - What do you mean by 'legal pedophilia'? Legal definition of paedophile is a person who is sexually attracted to PRE pubescent children i. e those pre puberty, this is an adult he is dating not a child. Or are there states where age of consent is 21? Still doesn't make it paedophilia though. 

Still think it's highly inappropriate and thoughtless of him. 

OptimisticMe's picture

Kids are 10, 7 and 3.  This has nothing to do with jealousy or not moving on...I have zero feelings for him romantically.  


I think the behavior is inappropriate.  His dad had sexual issues, ex has sexual issues...I don't want my kids to have sexual issues so I would prefer they not see things like this.


10 year old daughter is uncomfortable with it.  The younger two are oblivious.


My question is how do I do damage control and protect my kids the best I can?  I won't take him to court over this.  I just want to raise my kids in the best way possible.


So, I should act like I agree with him??? You are kidding, right?  I don' want my daughter to think something is wrong with her because she feels uncomfortable...adults close to the situation other than me (his family/my family) are uncomfortable as well. I think it is best to validate her I wrong?


I am emotionally healthy/well adjusted...I just want helpful advice on how to talk to my kids about this...I can't exactly control him :/

ESMOD's picture

What is your 10 yo uncomfortable with.? Daddy dating? Or are they doing sexual things in front of the kissing doesn't


It's natural that she may not like daddy...or  it's your job as a mom to explain that it is normal for divorced adults to see other people and that she should treat the other adults with respect.   It's clear you don't approve of him dating the woman but it is no longer your call. The mere existence of a younger girlfriend is not harmful unless you teach her that it's unnatural. Kids don't dictate adult relationships and neither can an ex.

Unless they are exposing the children to pornography or drugs or are abusing them or neglecting them...its not your call.  I hope you can try to not encourage her discomfort at him dating because you will likely want the same someday.

OptimisticMe's picture

I don't care if he dates...I don't like the fact that she is the same age as my daughter's sister.  I think most would be uncomfortable with that.  He has the kids a lot...just thinking maybe it is no longer in their best interest for them to be with him that much.  They don't want to go...don't even have a bed...the older two have to share the couch.

still learning's picture

Not having a proper bed or room is an issue that can be brought up in court, co sleeping with a non family member may be an issue as well.  The fact that he's dating a legal adult is not. Yes it's weird to have a girlfriend the same age as your daughter but there's not much you can do about it. I'm sure my kids would be weirded out if their father married a 22 yr old woman same age as dd. 

I wonder what 18 yr old in her right mind would think this was a great situation?! Someone's got serious daddy issues fo sure.  


OptimisticMe's picture

No kidding about the daddy issues!


I just want to raise healthy, well adjusted kids that don't have to recover from their childhood...I thought that would be easy...WRONG!

still learning's picture

I hear you, yet we all have some wackiness from childhood to recover from. Your children will be slightly screwed up just like the rest of us, no one comes from a perfect family.  You can only control what goes on in your home on your end.  

We all wanted the perfect Leave it to Beaver nuclear family happily ever after growing old together life when we got married and for the majority of the population it isn't their reality.  You're never going to be able to dictate who your childrens father bring home. You couldn't control his behavior when you were married and for sure have zero control now.  



Exjuliemccoy's picture

Welcome to post-divorce adulting, where the challenge is to stay classy and detached as exes do stupid stuff.

Congratulations!  Your exe's love life is now none of your business, nor is how he chooses to interact with his adult daughter. Your primary responsibility is teaching your minor children coping skills and instilling a life philosophy that will enable them to recognize that they can love their father despite not agreeing with his choices. These lessons will carry them successfully through life, and come in handy when you decide to start dating again.

strugglingSM's picture

Exjuliemccoy, I love your screen name. As a SM, I often refer to myself as "cruise director" and it always makes me think of Julie McCoy. 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Thanks, Struggling. I was the cruise director of the Titanic for eighteen years, except I didn't get paid and there were no cute actors. Still, I loved the show and the sweet character Lauren Tewes played.

Goodluck's picture

What would you tell them IF dad was dating a woman much older than him?

The courts will not involve themselves with two adults moving past an old marriage or relationship anymore than they will involve themselves in your affairs.  Sure you can try to churn this and churn this. Dont waste your money.

You dont have to talk to the kids other than,,,,IS she nice to you? I bet she is fun?

Miss you may want to be careful about what YOU say around the kids about your x new lady friend. Try to smile and be gracious. No they wont need therapy. But you may want to think about going for a few sessions so YOU can process  his new post divorce life.


OptimisticMe's picture

Why is everyone assuming I have issues with him moving on?  Maybe I should have mentioned this is his second gf and I had no issues with the first?  She was of reasonable age and didn't sleep in bed with my kid!  Kids didn't seem bothered about gf #1, this one they do!

DaniellaR's picture

Because her age is none of your business. None of it is any of your business. You shouldn't even know the age of this woman. 

ldvilen's picture

For me, and by your OP, I strongly get the message you think you have the right to control your ex- and get to personally decide who he can and cannot date, to the point of somehow using the court system and your own children to do so.

You're divorced.  You have your life, and he has his.  You are to co-parent, but co-parenting does not mean picking away at the other partner.  Whatever you or your DH does with their personal life, as long as no blatant harm is being done to the children, is neither partners business.  You are assuming just because he is dating what you think is an 18-19 year old, is somehow harming your children, and it may be, if anything because of your reaction.

The kids don't seem to like her.  Maybe they have a legit. reason and maybe they don't.  Kids don't always like people, for whatever reason.  Maybe they don't like her because you threw a fit when the daughter said they kissed and said she's around 18/19 years old.  What you should have done is stayed out of it.  Now you are talking about taking him to court over it?!  You should have said, "Geesh, that's not ideal, but it is your dad's life now."  End of story.

As SMs we are all very aware of what damage intrusive exes or BMs can cause.  Damage that usually SMs wrongly wind up getting blamed for.  Choose your battles wisely.  Know your boundaries.  Keep up going after daddy for anything YOU think he is going wrong, and the kids may very well wind up thinking the world of you and hating dad and his ho.  Is that what you want?  Maybe.

strugglingSM's picture

He’s an adult and his girlfriend is an adult, so you have no say in what they do with their lives.

If you withheld visitation or tried to demand more child support, the courts will not be pleased with you, because if your ex is not breaking the law or your CO, his personal life is of no interest to the courts. The courts don’t want to deal with the interpersonal drama between divorced parents.

One thing about being a divorced parent - you don’t have control over everything your kids see and do anymore. The other parent has just as much right to decide what your kids see and do. He’s not abusing them and as you seem recently divorced, it's unlikely that the kids will love anyone he brings around, even if that woman was Mary Poppins. Did your SD love you when you first showed up? Don’t triangulate with her against her dad. She's an adult, too, and likely wouldn't want anyone telling her who not to date, so she also needs to learn to accept her father's choice and keep it moving. I would just tell your kids that their dad is an adult and he’s allowed to make his own decisions and stay out of it. You’ll only create more confusion for them if you try to intervene.

If I were you, I wouldn’t even talk to the kids about their dad’s personal life. It’s impossible to move on from a relationship if you are still keeping tabs on the person you broke up with.

OptimisticMe's picture

Tonight my SD told me my 3 year old has been sleeping in bed with the ex and the 18 year old.  I should just accept that?  

strugglingSM's picture

Again, that isn't child abuse and it's none of your business what goes on in his house. Do you tell him everything that goes on in your house? Would you change what was going on in your house if he objected to something that was neither against the law or against your CO? 

You are divorced, so unless something is stipulated in your CO, you can't demand that it happen. Part of learning how to co-parent is letting go of that control. Anything more is interfering and also verging on parental alienation because you are sending the message to your kids that their dad can't be trusted. 

If you really have a problem with the 3 year old sleeping in bed with them, then teach the 3 year old how wonderful it is to sleep in his/her own bed and he/she will insist on sleeping in their own bed when with your Ex. If the 3 year old doesn't have a bed at your ex's house, then that is something you can demand, but you can't demand that the GF doesn't sleep in the bed because your 3 year old must get preference. Also, if everyone is just sleeping in the bed, I don't see a problem with that. If they're having sex while the 3 year old is in the bed, that's different, but it's not child abuse to share a bed with a toddler. 

ldvilen's picture

I think you need to go back to your OP.  Because that is what most of the posters here were or will be reacting to.  Most will not read through all of your clarifications and updates and sudden extra knowledge that just happened to come your way to "justify" or throw more wood on the fire for whatever point you are trying to make.

It just seems to me you are looking for an excuse to screw dad.  I have yet to see that your children are in any real danger, but fine.  Go for it.  I agree as an ex- wife with children you do have the power to rake him over the coals for anything you so choose or want to embellish or just plain make up.  I see you are already working on getting the kids on your side, and pumping them for info., or are they "volunteering"?  Nice.

1wonder woman's picture

My parents were divorced and my dad was the first man in the state that we live in to win custody of his kids...and we visited my mom on weekends... My mom dated a guy that was 18 and I was 15 and trust me I did feel uncomfortable but I survived it.  I turned out fine... My Dad even took her back to court and the court did nothing because they are both adults and in the courts eyes it's o.k as long as they are adults.  My Dad was mad! The fact is your kids at first will always feel uncomfortable seeing their Dad with any other woman besides you no matter the womans age. Both you and your kids will have to get use to seeing him with someone else... Plus you must be careful what you do.  It can back fire on you... If you have nothing in writing you can not break that court and you can't stop your kids from visiting their dad that's up to the court to decide.The fact is you are divorced now and what your ex does when he has his kids and who he is around when he has his kids is out of your control... you need to realize this is the way it is when you are divorced.  You no longer have control or say so what your ex does... Now of course if it causes your kids pain or harm of course you have every right to report the facts to the court let the court decide what's best for the kids. 

Emereldess's picture

”Other Daughter” and told the kids that I was a new older sibling that their pervert daddy brought in.  I was 21 at the time I met SO, and while I was young (and yes, very much still just a GIRL), my intentions were strictly to have a decent relationship, but comments like this from BM - your title on the thread reminded me of that - those comments were incredibly detrimental to any sort of positive bond I could have hoped to form with the skids, since the oldest was already 16, not much younger than me. This made for a very awkward and uncomfortable experience for everyone, until the kids had to grow accustomed to it and for lack of better words... “get over it.”  I don’t know that I have much wisdom to give you on this, even though I speak from the opposite side of the fence, but all I can really say is, in my experience, the less you worry about the ex’s new spouse, the closer you keep your kids to YOU. So many divorcee parents are RUINING their children with their petty competitions and jealousy, and then the kids get lost and confused and end up destroying themselves and their parents in the end anyway... Please don’t go down this same path of destruction - you will always regret it.

OptimisticMe's picture

I think you have a valid point...over-thinking it might make the kids uncomfortable, too.  I just want to do what they need me to isn't always clear.  


I think the "get over it" is what I have a problem with.  I don' want them to have to "get over" anything.  I want them to have perfect lives and the perfect childhood...but in reality...that is not possible Sad

mtnwife530's picture

I've been marreied to DH for 12yrs. OSD is 8 yrs younger than I am. Trust me further down the road, this gap seems a LOT smaller,  and had OSS not passed before we got together, he'd be only 5yrs younger than me! OSD caused turmoil every chance she got......until a few months ago...til "Daaaddee" put her in her place.   My point is, you never know what will happen. The rest of the skids are glad I'm here for their dad and that he's happy. But, an 18 or 19 probably doesn't have the maturity your Ex is expecting and most likely end it. Quit stressing on it, just sit back and watch, let the chips fall whwere they may.

OptimisticMe's picture

I fully understand the gap seeming smaller with time!  My SD is 15 years younger than me and even with that gap we struggled at times.


But my 3 year old sleeping in bed with them...there is no way I can make myself cool with that!  

beebeel's picture

Where does the three year old sleep at your house? Where did the three year old sleep when dad was with his first girlfriend?

twoviewpoints's picture

Weren't you around 19-20 yrs old when you started with your now ex-husband?  Your SD around 5-ish? 

I read one of your post from a few years ago that said SD was 14 and you had raised her for eight years, but that then the last two years (at that post time) she had not been living with you.  So she stopped at about age 12. 

Did you have these concerns when it was you with this mn at such a young age with a small child present as you now seem to have when the young lady isn't you?

OptimisticMe's picture

OMG he is 4.5 years older than me and YES many of the problems we had were because there were only 15 years age difference between SD and I and yes that felt weird to me...but he knocked a girl up when he was young so that could not be avoided.  14 years went by since I marride him at 19...we kept aging...this is absolutely not the same situation.


I am sorry I thought I could get the support I needed and advice here...the majority of you seem like bitter SMs.  I am new to this side of it...why not help me be a good BM in this situation and give me advice like I asked instead of attacking me????

Emereldess's picture

that yes, as an SM, I have become very bitter...  It's tough being in an already-made family and dealing with children that you can't call your own - being raised by your partner during the brief times you see them, and mostly being raised by their mother the rest of the time, who views you the SM as an intruder on hers and her children's lives (I don't say that lightly or presumptuously, I promise.)

I didn't enter SO's life to make his kids uncomfortable, nor did I enter to "steal" anything or anyONE from BM.  I can only imagine what it might feel like for a BM, since I am not one myself, to leave her marriage, and hear bits and pieces through her children of what Dad is doing, who he's with now, and what takes place when they're in his care.

As I mentioned before, I don't have much wisdom that I can offer you, besides I suppose a biased opinion due to lack of understanding from the BM's point of view - but I really just want to say to you - as an SM myself, I TRIED to stay out of BM's way, I TRIED to not step on her toes, and I always and ever tried my BEST to understand why she might feel the way she did.  I made an above and beyond effort to treat her civil and with respect and I did the best I could to make sure she did not feel threatened by me.  NOTHING I did or didn't do, helped.  She took a personal notion of competition toward me, and worked her kids one by one into hating me, and resenting their father for ever bringing me into the picture.  I meant what I said when I told you please don't go down that road.  SO's kids, all four, are now confused trainwrecks incapable of decent humain behavior, and I don't blame them for it, I blame both their parents.  I'm leaving my relationship after a six year commitment to my SO, because of his and BM's competition to be better parents that led to the absolute destruction of their kids - his oldest girl is badly addicted to drugs and living on government handouts on the street, his younger girl lives with us and is abusive toward him and I in every form, his two sons live with BM and the younger one that is only thirteen is lost and badly addicted now too and the older one is a liar and a thief - they are all desperate for their mom and dad's attention, but mom and dad are too busy competing with each other and worrying about each other's new spouse, to give the proper attention and discipline to their own CHILDREN.  They've destroyed their own family, and for six years, I was the scapegoat and I took the blame.

I beg you to remember that your ex is your kids' DAD - and as such, you should do your best to TRUST that he's not going to do ANYTHING that would put HIS kids (and yes YOURS as well) in harm's way, including bringing the wrong woman into their lives.  If he's not neglecting or abusing your kids, or consuming drugs/alcohol around them, give him a chance to lead his life as he chooses.

An 18-19 year old girl likely has no idea that it's wrong to let the 3 year old in the bed with them, especially if her SO is allowing it - It's possible she has infant siblings, or babysat, etc. that she is comfortable with such a thing.  The time I would question it would be if it were her alone sharing the bed with the 3 year old.

I don't know if this helps at all - I guess I just really want to encourage you to disengage yourself, and raise your kids in your time as you see fit, and not worry yourself into a bad situation about how they're being raised by their father - stay on a positive communication track with your ex, don't mind yourself about his partner, and you will see the benefit in due time, whether he stays with this partner or not.  It's your KIDS that matter between you and your ex, and as long as they're not suffering in any way in his care, you should be able to breath easy and live well.  If your SD talks to you about new partner, you should ask her not to - not to hurt her feelings, but to stop yours from manifesting.

I hope this doesn't feel like an attack for you - I'm really wishing you luck.  You sound like you want to make the right choices.  And counseling - that is an excellent idea, if you're considering it.  I go to counseling myself, and it has helped me immensely.

Saint_Gus's picture

That makes me so sad for his children. I don't blame you for wanting to get away from that situation. It serves as a stark reminder that as parents we need to always remember to love our kids more than we hate our ex. Not just a lot or most of the time, but ALL of the time, every time we open our mouths atound the kids. Thanks for sharing that.

strugglingSM's picture

I don’t think everyone is attacking you when they tell you to not interfere. I honestly feel that it’s in your best interest to learn to ignore whatever goes on at your ex’s house. It will only lead to angst on your part and will negatively impact your children if they know you are upset about what’s going on at dad’s house. It’s difficult, but you have to learn to not let it bother you and that means closing your ears whenever anyone wants to talk about what’s going on at his house.

The BM in my life is completely histrionic and has the emotionally maturity of a 14 year old. Dealing with her - even indirectly through SSs - can drive me crazy if I let it. My SSs do things at her house that I find completely age-inappropriate and also have no structure and no focus on being responsible or productive adults. That would all be fine if those things didn’t seep into my house, but they do, because that is the environment my SSs are in 26 days a month. My DH also feels that BM is not doing what she needs to do to make sure SSs are prepared for the real world. However, we have to let that go, because she thinks what she’s doing is fine and most of what she’s doing is not in violation of the CO (one thing is, but after a big blowout with BM over that before he met me, he’s had to let that one go, too, because he does not want to go to court). Early on when I would complain to my mother, she would say to me, “you know she’s crazy and you know she’s going to act / react in this way, so you need to not let it bother you.” That advice is hard to follow, but it’s the best advice for this situation. Divorced families would be a lot happier if everyone learned to give up some control and let things go.

twoviewpoints's picture

Ok.How about approaching for mediation and developing parenting plan? Verbal agreements are hot air. 

You were married to a cheater and were, for a long time, well aware of the fact. You made the decision to divorce.He's already on #2 since your "recent" divorce. He's going to cheat on this young lady too. Not many 18-19yr olds are going to find that romantic. She isn't going to last long. I pointed out the age thing because , just like you at her age, she isn't intimidated at the thought of having skids. Heck, maybe she feels all grown-up playing weekend Mommy *shrugs*. However, how long do you think an 18-19yr old is going to be ok with a cheater where she has to constantly check his phone and worry about were his man parts are up to now. IDk, maybe she's into the 'bad guy/tough guy' image. A cop, older, dangerous job. What she won't be into is when he fails to come home, has to worry about being tested for sexual diseases blah blah. It'll get old fast.

But in the meantime, you can mediate and have appropriately filed , an agreement on overnight guest when the children are present. You can address your concerns of lack of sleeping arrangements. Sounds like he's living in a shoebox. You'll get nowhere attacking the woman on her age, but you might get somewhere bringing up legitimate parenting issues. Screaming with threats that you will withhold the kids and/or try and gouge him financially unless he lets you control his household? Come on, you knew that would get a reaction, both with him in person  and also bringing the 'idea' to a stepparent venting site. 

This GF is 18-19, the one before was more 'age appropriate' per you. There is going to be the next one and the one after that and the one after that. Some may be young, some older. Your problem isn't really the ages, you have cheater for the father of your children. While you were married to him you could control the impact that had on your kids, now it's out of your control. It does sadden me for your kids that their father lives a life where he has a revolving door on his bedroom . they will no moreso get use to the current one than the next one will be arriving . I don't believe there is anything you can do to 100% shield these kids from this. But underhanded tricks like PAS'ing the kids or gouging him financially and/or threatening to keep the kids from him outside a court order is no the way to go. 


OptimisticMe's picture

THANK YOU!  This is the helpful type of advice I was looking for...this webite has "vent" in the description so I thought it was safe to vent here!


Thank you for useful advice and validating my feelings despite the fact I came here hot-headed and angry.


I offered to keep the kids more so they don't infringe on his personal life without raising his child support (I get $55/week for 3 kids bc I make a lot of money and he doesn't)...I just hope the gf encourages him to take me up on that offer...but who knows if that is good for the kids either...wish the "right" thing to do was more clear :/

2Tired4Drama's picture

but perhaps not in a form you liked.  And I do think you are sifting through and taking what advice YOU agree with and are not being open-minded.   Please reconsider what others are telling you  - it was very clear advice, even if it may seem harsh to you. 

Again, I think you are exhibiting serious traits of parental alienation by saying your solution might be to "keep the kids more so they don't infringe on his personal life."  What is your ultimate goal with that idea - to gradually cut the kids out of his life completely?   It sure seems like it.   I would encourage you to research PAS and see the forms it takes.  If you are honest with yourself, you may recognize the feelings and the things you are doing to alienate your children from their father.  

The fact that cutting off the time they spend with him is a blatant indicator that your ideas on how to resolve issues is skewed.

As I mentioned in my previous advice (since that is what you claimed you really wanted) you should seriously consider getting counseling to understand the damage your attitude will cause your children and figure out ways to stop it now.   

Is is Psychology 101 to understand that children are damaged when one parent dismisses the importance of the other parent in those kids' lives (absent cases of abuse).  I know parental alienation when I see it as I was subjected to it myself as a child.  I also saw BM doing it to the skids.   

Nothing good comes from one parent trying to cut the other one out whether overtly or covertly.  If you continue on this path I think you may be damaging your children more than you know.   

One last point ...While this site is indeed a place to "vent" you are missing the most important descriptor: It is for STEPPARENTS.   I don't think this is where you will find a sympathetic ear for your own personal issues about your ex's partner, but you certainly have found candid and truthful advice.  It could be incredibly valuable if you choose to consider it.  








2Tired4Drama's picture

"I threatened I would decrease his parenting time and increase child support if he exposes them to her."

Sorry, but I just can't get past this.  What gives you the right to threaten his court-ordered time with his children because you don't like his choice in a new partner?

Unless you have definitive proof (which would fly in a court of law) that there is some sort of abuse going on, YOU have done the absolute WORST thing a parent can do to a child - which is to interfere and take away their time together with the other parent.  

Even prison systems know that incarcerated parents should still be able to spend time with their children because it's so important for the kids to have that relationship.  What did your ex do that was so much worse, that you are now THREATENING him by taking his time away??

I strongly suggest you get some counseling because you are clearly alienating your children from their father.  If they wind up a mess later on, you won't have to worry about sending them to therapy because you will only have to go as far as your own mirror to find out why.    

OptimisticMe's picture

Did I say I was perfect and knew what to do?  If I did I wouldn' be asking questions.  Wrong forum apparently, no help here.  I admitted I am having issues accepting I can't keep them sheltered from him!!!  I know I am a control freak!  I wanted helpful advice on how to deal!

2Tired4Drama's picture

Admitting you have unreasonable control issues and you want advice for dealing with it are a good step in the right direction.

The mere fact that you continue to say you want to "shelter them from him" is an indicator you are NOT seeing things clearly and will continue to exhibit behavior that will further alienate them from their father.

If you really want advice on how to deal with it, I would suggest this:  Find a good counselor who is experienced with parental alienation.  Then be up-front and honest with them and say, "I find myself trying to alienate my children against their father. I understand that this can seriously damage them for life and I want to find out how I can stop doing it."

Then follow through with counseling sessions until you can reach a point of calm awareness of your actions, and know how to combat them.   


Ispofacto's picture

Correct.  If you are looking for legal advice on how you can use the legal system to abuse your ex and your children you have come to the wrong place.  Your questions have been answered you just didnt get the affirmation you wanted.  Because trying to control your ex is wrong.

Curious Georgetta's picture

s very nonjudgmental manner that while you understand that she has concerns that relate to her father that those are concerns that she should discuss with her father.

You should not be out in the position of explaining, defending, or soothing over issues and questions that your children have about his behavior. You want your daughter to know that she can come to you with any questions and concerns; however , only her dad can answer questions about his behavior and relationships.


Her father is an adult and he should be the one to explain or answer any questions or concerns that his daughter might havr. He is the owner and keeper of his relationship  with his child. It is not your job or place to answer questions on his behalf. He may not be mature enough or caring enough  to respond in an appropriate manner, but your job is not to run interference for your ex.

It is not difficult to understand how a 10 year old might be confused by her dad dating a girl the same age as her older sister who she probably thinks of a girl rather than an adult.

Whatever , it is your ex's responsiblity to respond to your daughter and address her concerns whatever they maybe.  You do not have to address  his right to date  anyone that he chooses. That is the conversation that he should have with his daughter.   

You should not express any feelings on this subject. Chances are both the 18 year old daughter along with your 10 year old are confused but that is dad's issue to deal with. 

He does not sound like someone who will handle that kind of discussion in an appropriate manner, but there is nothing that you can do about that. He is the person responsible for maintaining his relationship  with his children.

ESMOD's picture

I'm sorry you feel attacked because I think people are trying to give you good advice.  Unfortunately you did come on here a bit like a GUBM with your calling your exes new girlfriend a "child".  It brings up all the frustrations of the stepmother that had to deal with attitude from the kids and the ex because mom didn't approve of our ________ fill in the blank...age...job....haircolor..friends..etc.basically because we existed.  See....she shouldn't be the focus. It should be your kids.  There are things I don't think are good here...not a favor of kids not having a proper bed/bedroom (shared with other kids is fine in a room).  The 3 yo sleeping with her dad...unless she is sleeping in your bed...i think that's not great.  Now if you wouldn't blink at your daughter sleeping in bed with let's say a babysitter...the young woman is not the issue...unless something sexual was going on. Please don't give your kids the i.pressiin that your exes relationship is wrong...because that will do more harm than him dating a younger woman...even if she is much younger

Iamwoman's picture

I believe the OP is looking for legal advice, and possibly hit a few nerves with her choice of wording. The term PAS is thrown around quite a bit, but in reality, is very hard to prove. The OP didn’t take away her exes parenting time. She did threaten, but then realized that’s not a good idea either, which is why she posted here for help. Correct forum for biomoms? No. As a step/bio mom who has posted both sides, I can say that many of my fellow stepmums here are biased but in defense, stepmoms sure do go through a lot, receive undo criticism, and little to no gratitude. This scenario would serve to jade anyone, and it is nice to have a supportive group, if only for that side of parenting.

The OP’s issue with her ex’s obvious preference for a barely legal lover is not going change based on anyone else’s opinions. This is a moral matter, not a legal matter, and any stepmom on this site who is currently involved with an older man, will of course see no problems here. As the mother of a teen girl, the thought of someone my own age using my daughter as a lover the minute she is a day old enough for it to no longer be considered rape is incredibly disturbing. I am guessing the OP sees the situation similarly. Again though, opinion.

Will a judge disapprove of the ex’s triangle daughter/lover/sleeping arrangement? Probably. Would some judges think it’s no big deal? Probably. This woman is trying to protect her child though. She sees red flags where many might see the mother herself as a red flag. Sure PAS can damage a child. So can the notion that it’s ok for daddy to have sex with a girl the same age as his own daughter, and then share a bed with daughter and lover.

OP has a real concern, and I believe most attorneys would take her case. It may not go to court, but just the action of hiring an attorney may help the OP get her ex to be more considerate of how his life choices are affecting all of his children.


Age of lover? Moral issue.

Daughter sharing bed with daddy and daddy’s lover? Legal issue.

OP’s wording in advice seeking? Maybe not the best, but do we judge our friend’s choice of words when they are at their lowest of lows and most upset? We may be having a good day, but I can guarantee that any OP who posts on this forum looking for advice is having a string of rotten bad desperate days. We don’t need to convince her that her morals are too high, but we do need to gently guide her toward the correct approach to this situation, which includes hiring an attorney who can navigate with logic and reason while OP is beside herself with her own tormented emotions of a protective mama bear. She can’t take away parenting time on her own, but she can present more than just a two paragraph venting session to a representative who will guide her correctly through what is now a very precarious two household family situation.

I don’t think anyone ever dreams of growing up and having a child with a cheater, or sharing parenting decisions with a woman who can’t possibly love your own children the way you do. Yes, we are a forum of stepmoms, but many of us are biomoms too, and those of us who are, especially those of us who have teen daughters, I’m sure can certainly resonate with the OP’s concerns.


OptimisticMe's picture

Thank you, Iamwoman, for being intelligent and understanding what I was asking!


I am a hothead that should have calmed down before I reacted...when I purely had SM issues I came here to vent to help me calm down and said things I didn't mean and over-reacted.  I did that as a BM this time and it rubbed a few the wrong way...I'm sorry if I upset anyone.  I came here for help and I'll be honest...ya'll made me bawl my eyes out and feel like poo for a while.


I have never and will never alienate my kids against their mom did that to me...I'm not going to do it.  I did threaten to cut ex parenting time back to normal standards...he currently has the kids almost as much as I do which is not typical for dads in my state (did this bc I think it is important for kids to see him as much as possible...agreed to this with ex and had an attorney write it up bc I am a good mom like that despite what some on here think).  If ex is going to have my child sleep in bed with him and barely legal gf you bet I will try to limit overnights as any good mom should.  I am questioning if I made the right decision agreeing to him having the kids so much.


As a BM it is my job to teach my kids right from I will do that.  If something I say is wrong in my opinion and their dad happens to do be it.  Their dad cheated on me with 12+ women (he admitted to 12...probably were more) you betcha I will make sure they know I don't agree with cheating on your spouse.  It isn't alienating them against their dad to teach the kids it isn't right to have sex with tons of people and cheat!  And guess kids do not know he cheated on me.  If I was a crazy BM PASing them I'm pretty sure that would have come out by now Wink

Ispofacto's picture

"you bet I will try to limit overnights as any good mom should.  I am questioning if I made the right decision agreeing to him having the kids so much"

This is an excellent example of the Golden Uterus mentality at work.  Only she knows what is best for "her" children.  She is the senior parent, she calls the shots, he is the junior parent and his rights and opinions don't matter.  The children are solely her possessions.  She is generously doing him a favor "letting" him see "her" kids, and his parenting time is up to her arbitrary whim.  Lol.  This mentality is how our BM lost custody of SD.  Maybe if she lives in a golden uterus county she will get everything she wants, but punishing her ex is the opposite of what a "good mom" does.  Getting what she wants will feed her delusion that she is right.  I really wish the karma train was real.  

Most of us have BPs who are physically/mentally/emotionally abusing the kids, and/or medically/educationally neglecting them, and/or abusing drugs/alcohol, but still either have full custody or full visitation with no interference.  We'd be grateful if our biggest problem was who the BP was sleeping with.

Saint_Gus's picture

Lol you're not crazy. That is crazy and skeevy. Also really nothing you can do about it. If you try to take it to court there are people that will try to make it out that you're jealous (as you can see here lol). I think your best bet is to kind of laugh it off and act as above it as you can and encourage your daughter to do the same.

ldvilen's picture

The woman came here looking for "advice" and hurled insults.  It is not our job to gently guide anyone so judgmental and out for control.  I always find it amazing too how, if a husband cheats, he's a !@#$ cad.  If a wife cheats, she only did it because her husband wasn't treating her right.  But, enough on that. 

We all know PAS is difficult to prove, and we also all know it usually works.  We also all pretty much know that BM or ex- is in a position to screw whomever she wants via the court system and her own children.  And, I don't think any professional should be encouraging or downplaying this.

Having said that, sure, if my ex- was dating a much younger woman, close to my daughter's age, I'd be pissed too.  But, that is not the point the OP came here trying to make at all.  She didn't say, "Can you give me advice on how to cope with my DH dating a much younger woman?"  She said, "Ex is now dating a child," and "I threatened I would decrease his parenting time and increase child support if he exposes them to her."  

Telling us/SMs that "We do need to gently guide her toward the correct approach to this situation, which includes hiring an attorney who can navigate with logic and reason while OP is beside herself with her own tormented emotions of a protective mama bear," is nothing more than the same old, same old: BM can do no wrong and SMs need to suck it up.  But, yes, I'm sure the court system and society will side with "Mama Bear."  They usually do.

What I'd like to suggest is that rather than expecting SMs to "gently guide her toward the correct approach to this situation," that the court systems and society as a whole drop their biased belief that Mama Bears can do no wrong and instead look at the situation for what it is, yet another divorce situation where mom, dad, children, in-laws, future SPs, will all wind up getting screwed because one or more of the initial parents wants to drag every little conceived wrong through the mud and get their way, under the guise of "it's for the children," or "I'm protecting the children."  But, I suppose you could say if lawyers started doing that, then they'd have less business.  Counter-productive for them in that case.

ESMOD's picture

I went back and re-read the initial post by OP and I can't disagree with all the posts that told her she really needed to back the truck up here.

She disparaged the GF by calling her a child (when she may be 18-19.. or maybe a very young looking 25 who really knows?) and calls the relationship inappropriate. She also says she did threaten to reduce time or go for more CS to prevent the children from being exposed (as if she is a virus) to this poor GF and goodness forbid they actually see their father show affection to his GF by "smooching" her. 

Now, I get the fact that she stayed with a man who apparently didn't have a great track record of keeping his pants zipped when married to her.  Would that make me bitter towards him?  yeah.. I think so.  But, I do think that if I had kids I would want them to try to have a relationship with him... absent my feelings.

Is the relationship he is having inappropriate?  It may not be conventional but it's not inappropriate.  Is seeing their father kiss his girlfriend going to cause the kids to need therapy?  Only if they are being taught that any show of public affection is evil in some way.

It sounds like the issue of CS was set that way perhaps because she makes more money and it sounds like their parenting time is fairly equal.. shoot in those cases of 50/50 it makes you wonder why he should have a CS order.

But again, I can see having an issue with the child not having her own bed.. or not sleeping in it.. (because I am assuming OP is also making her daughter spend the night in her own bed and not mommy's).  I think I would prefer to see dad living in a place where there were at least two bedrooms so the kids could bunk in one and he was in the other.. but sometimes financially you just have to make do. 

I also don't blame OP for wanting to control things.. Of course, most people wish they could control other people.. but it's not possible and it isn't right to do.. so most of us just accept that we can't and not let it eat at us because that isn't healthy for anyone.

OptimisticMe's picture

Most responses are incorrectly assuming things.  The second sentence is why I came here "We have a verbal agreement not to bring bf/gf around the kids before dating for at least 6 months."  And now I realize it is also agreed to by him in writing.  Verbal agreements are binding in my state.  THIS is why I am angry...he broke our agreement and hid it from me.  The girl's age only makes me more determined to enforce this agreement...and yes, she IS 18.

ESMOD's picture

Verbal agreements or verbal contracts can be binding but obviously can become a he said/she said situation very quickly so unless he goes into court and agrees that was the verbal agreement forever more.. then it still isn't worth the paper it's written on (as in no paper... no proof... really hard to stand on that in court).  But you then said that it WAS in writing.. so is it in writing or are you just saying it's binding because a verbal agreement can be binding?

As far as the assumption.. I made on who knows what her real age was... how were we supposed to know she was precisely 18 when your initial post said 18-19... which is a range as in you didn't know the age yourself.. so maybe it's possible that we could think that you and SD are just assuming she was that young by her appearance.. but in the end.. it's not inappropriate for him to date someone of legal age.. which 18 is anyway.  so age really isn't an issue at all.

Now, you say your agreement was that you both had to date someone for 6 months before introducing.. how do you know for a fact that he didn't know her and date her for 6 months?  How would you prove it in court? 

I'm not saying this stuff to try to call you a liar or be argumentative.. I'm asking these questions because before you would go into court this stuff is relevant.. if you can't prove he went against some verbal (as in hard to prove) agreement then what is a judge supposed to do?  likely they will do nothing. and the end result is that your kids get an eyeful of you dragging your dad to court and telling people his choice of GF is wrong.. which is what we have mostly all been trying to tell you is kind of a PAS move.


2Tired4Drama's picture

to continue to try and reason with the OP.  I applaud all the posters here who have tried valiantly to point out different perspectives and who gave honest, realistic advice.   

No matter how factual our responses will be, OP is bound and determined to prove how "right" she is and continues to move the goal post towards her side.  There is no winning this case, I'm afraid.

I truly wish her well and hope that she eventually takes an honest look at her own behavior and attitude and understands how destructive it could be towards her children's relationship with their dad.   


still learning's picture

Op,  I would contact a lawyer about your concerns.

Bring up your verbal/written agreement 

Your toddler co-sleeping with an 18 yr old woman

the kids lack of beds and bedrooms

No need to justify yourself here, you have legitimate concerns about your childrens well being.   

Ispofacto's picture

"THIS is why I am angry...he broke our agreement and hid it from me"

So, this isn't really about the kids, it is about you and your anger.

Your ex wasn't able to honor his commitments when you were married.  He wasn't able to stop making bad choices to prevent the demise of the most important relationship of his life, and you think he's going to behave now?  If he could stop womanizing, you two would still be married.  You made a bad choice in breeding partner, and you can't turn back the clock now.

So, if this is allegedly so toxic for your kids, how much contact should their father be allowed to have?  No overnights?  Okay, but what if the gf comes around during the day, and they are smootching?  No judge can outlaw PDAs, and no judge can outlaw your ex having friends that aren't abusing your kids.  So then I guess your ex should have no parenting time at all?  Well, lady, even drug addicts and felons get to see their kids, because it's in the kids' interests to see their parents, warts and all.  Like many others here, you have made a bad choice. Own it. Your kids are resilient, they will be okay.

And NO, 18 is not a child.  I was self-supporting at 17, married at 18, had my first kid at 19, owned my own home at 21, graduated college at 24 with a degree in science.  I went to the #2 university in the usa for my profession as a mother of 3, have a great career, live in a nice house.  If others here have teen daughters that are immature, that's them.  My parents married right out of HS and were married for over 50 years when my mom died.  I have plenty of friends who married right out of HS, my bff just celebrated her 29th anniversary.  It disgusts me that anyone on this board would condone controlling others' behavior just because their own children are immature, or they disagree with a couple who have an age difference. What two consenting adults do is none of their business.

notasm3's picture

I am utterly disgusted by the people who claim that "young adults" do not have brains that are fully formed and so should not be held responsible for anything.  I graduated from college (a really top notch school) at 20 and by 22 managed a major IT project in Europe that connected all of our international sales offices.  Back in the day when many airlines still used index cards for reservations.  It pisses me off for people to claim that I was a mindless idiot because I was not yet 25.  And I was not an exception - many of my contemporaries were far more accomplished than me.

Now I personally think an 18-20 year old who dates an older man is an idiot.  But that is still their perogative.  I never wanted to date someone who could have been friends with my parents - but that was me.  My wonderful current DH is much younger (almost a decade) than I am.  Maybe some people think that is weird.

MoominMama's picture

I wish this thread would get shut dowm now. It was ridiculous and inflammatory to call her exes new gf a 'child' at 18 and even worse when the ex is called a pedophile. Some people need to look up what exactly is the definition of a pedophile. 

Rags's picture

The 18yo GF may be an issue... but in my experience most likely not.  Our situation was somewhat similar.  DW was a single teen mom and had SS when she was 16 and the SpermIdiot was 23.  So he was in act  a statutory rapist.  When DW was nearly 18  and SS was nearly 1yo the SpermIdiot started cheating on DW with his 15yo new GF. So DW  nailed his ass in court with an order of paternity and CS while retaining full physical and legal custody.

She and I met in college during the last year of my 11year undergrad career and her first semester of college out of high school .. SS was 15mos old.  I was 29 and my DW was 18.  During the year before we married there was an ongoing legal  battle over custody of my SS that was back and forth before it actually made it before a Judge.  We went to court two weeks after we married.  The SpermIdiot married his still 16yo GF a week before we married to avoid being yet again nailed as a statutory rapist only this time in front of a Judge. 

So the tit for tat lawyer moves were that he was a repeat statutory rapist with a 16yo wife.  Their lawyer replied that I was 30 and my wife was 18 so what the hell were we complaining about.

The Judge commented that the SpermIdiot's penchant for underage girls was disturbing but he was legally married to his latest victim with the consent of that victims mother so our perspective had no merrit and since my wife was of legal age their perspective had no merrit.

As disturbing as your X's Lolita fettish may be... his Lolita is legally an adult so at best it will be hit or miss whether or not a Judge will have anything to say about it.

In my experience of course.

Good luck.

ownpersonalopinion1's picture

Where in the hell are these  girl’s parents?   I can understand your concern and I don’t think you are guilty of “not moving on” or anything weird.   I’d question his judgement too.   Sometimes older men find young girls because they can’t find women their own age to put up with their bullshit.  Nothing is wrong with you being concerned about your kids, but I don’t think there is much you can do about.   The whole mess sounds so ewwwww!