Advice following ex's new girlfriend moving in
13 May 2019 at 1:03 pm #24878
Hi I’m hoping to get some advice and support for what is quite a complex situation.
My husband and I separated nearly 2 years ago. We have a 9 and 7 year old. From day 1 things were reasonably amicable and we agreed the importance of the kids having their own bedroom at his house. We showed the kids a joined up approach to parenting, communicating fairly well, with the kids staying with him every Wednesday night and every other weekend.
In January this year he told me he was seeing someone – long distance relationship – and that she had a son the same age as our son. About 6 weeks later she’s moved in with him, and put her son in the same school as our children – in fact her son is in the same class as our son.
I had previously said this was all too quick – our children had met her on 3 occasions before moving in. Her son now has my sons bedroom – my husband put bunk beds in and said the boys can share.
So my immediate reaction has been to continue the same contact arrangements, however, I insist that the kids come back to my house to sleep. So that they have their own bedrooms, their own space and security. Until a time when they have got to know her and her son better and they have their own bedrooms again – husband said they wouldn’t stay in his rented 3 bed house long and would move somewhere bigger, but now she’s moved in he’s showing no signs of making this happen.
To add to the complexity, in January I was diagnosed with cancer and I am half way through a course of chemotherapy. The children have been very upset and worried about me. My husband came to a pre-chemo appointment in January with me where we discussed the effects on the kids and were advised to keep everything as normal, stable and routine as possible for them. Despite this, he still went ahead and moved his girlfriend in quickly.
Further complexity, I found out a few weeks ago that his girlfriend had still been living with HER husband and their son, up to the point she moved in with my husband – so they had been having an affair – and I now know of occasions where he has put her ahead of his own children. For example, when he was supposed to be looking after them, but lied to me about working late and I had to get my mum to babysit (I had been admitted to hospital so the kids really needed their dad).
Further more, he has a history of severe depression, and is now displaying many signs of it – so I am questioning his ability to make the right decisions, put his kids first etc. A recent meeting that I had with him to discuss our communication, which has broken down since his girlfriend moved in, he didn’t want to discuss anything, tried to bully me to let the kids sleepover, called me a b*tch, shouted at me to shut up and threatened to take me to court – all in the cafe where we met.
I’m sticking to my guns at the moment about the sleeping arrangements – I feel there’s many reasons why they benefit from sleeping in their own rooms at mine and not at their Dad’s, but I do wonder if legally I can do that? I’ve never said that they will never sleep over at their dad’s again, I just want things to be done right so they don’t impact on the mental well being of my kids.
However, I’m not sure what to do next with regards their dad. He stormed out from our last meeting and now had blocked me on Facebook and so has hid girlfriend – which seems really childish.
Any advice would be welcomed please.14 May 2019 at 2:09 am #24894
What does your son think about sharing a room? Some children would regard it as an adventure. Have your children expressed an opinion on the new girlfriend?
Why not let them stay one night and then get some feedback on how it went?
Your ex has made reasonable provision so I suspect the court might agree with him.16 May 2019 at 8:11 am #24945
If this was a case of you suggesting that the children meet and spend time as a new unit until familiar then it would probably be viewed as reasonable short term. But you’d need to agree a timescale for progression even if it was progressing by coming home after dinner now, then two weeks of being collected for breakfast there and then then 1 overnight. Progressing to two after two visits if all went well.
However, this really isn’t the case. You object because they’re going to have to share rooms. That’s unreasonable, legally even in social housing children are expected to share, until a certain if opposite gender. So on this you’re being unreasonable. So you need to accept and phrase this as a positive to the children.