New relationship, but his ex not letting him see one of his sons
6 January 2022 at 5:08 pm #64558
Hope you all enjoyed the Christmas break. I’ve been seeing a new guy on and off for a long time. He knows my daughter well and they get on great. I’ve just met his 2 sons, but one of them was crying after a phone call from his Mum and has refused 2 visits to him. How do we stop this situation getting worse? I’ve advised him to pick him up anyway as he is only 10 and seems young for his age. I’ve also said to let his solicitor know and get advice from the solicitor. The solicitors have decided it is in the boy’s best interests to see both parents, so I feel he shouldn’t just passively accept it. Especially as the younger boy was told by his Mother to say he was upset and not to go, even though he was very happy when he was at his Dad’s. I think he should try to reestablish contact with the 10 year old with phone calls or a letter and to let him know he loves him and that noone else will be there until he gets used to the situation. Am I giving him the right advice? It probably doesn’t help he isn’t yet divorced, so the boy is probably only just beginning to accept they won’t get back together.6 January 2022 at 5:45 pm #64560
This is a tricky one, for several reasons.
The first one being – you say you have been in a relationship ‘for a long time’ with your current partner?
But you don’t say how long.
The second one being – you have been given some information about what supposedly happened between your ex, the child in question and his ex partner. This sounds like it is second hand information i.e what he has told you about what happened.
You don’t say how old the kids are, but it may be simply that they were misbehaving, or lost their phone or whatever. Sounds like you don’t know exactly what happened and at this point you don’t need to know, it is up to the parents to sort it, and up to the dad in question to step up and cooperate with the mother of the child, and to help her out if possible. You don’t want to end up ‘piggy in the middle’ in all this.
A personal opinion but also hard won through experience – when I got together with my now ex husband – there was an ex wife on the scene and I rather naively believed what I was told about her by my then partner. I guess at that time I was so much besotted with new relationship I believed what I was being told. It is easily done. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I would understand what you have been told is second hand information and not the whole story, most likely.
Sounds like the kids have been through a lot and it is mature of you to let the kids and dad have some space together during contact, as is intended.
It is never a good idea to rush introducing a new partner to kids. I’m sure most on here would agree with that bit.
You mention that solicitors are involved – which is a back story possibly. What most people don’t realise is that Family Court proceedings are by law supposed to be held in confidence and are not to be discussed in public. The original reason for this was to protect the kids and their future – with the hope that matters are settled as calmly as possible. But this means since you won’t be party to the hearings in person, or indeed the paperwork (you can be held in contempt of court if the Family Court papers are passed on to someone else, even you) – given this fact, there will be nuances and facts that you cannot know and will not find out regarding what the situaton was, what led to the split and the situation of the children.
Also, factually it is not up to the solicitors to decide – although obviously they are aware of the Children’s Act, i.e. what is in the best interests of the child concerned. It just isn’t. That is the court’s job and the job of the judge if it comes to it. not the solicitors themselves.
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread? In your situation I would keep an appropriate emotional distance to this, do some more listening but not assume you know the whole picture…Family Court proceedings can be very tricky and emotional and the last thing a child needs is for someone to add to an already complicated situation when it isn’t necessary,
Sorry if that sounds harsh, it isn’t meant to be, but hopefully just a few facts to be aware of. I honestly think not many people are really aware of what the Family Court does, possibly because hearings are supposed to be confidential and because they are, a lot of people make assumptions about a situation which is really not helpful for the child’s future.
After all, it is upsetting enough for a child of any age to have their parents break up with each other and it is possible that child was ‘acting out’ emotionally for that reason. It really isn’t an easy thing for a child to cope with – and have to say, grown ups involved need to put their interests first.
w.w6 January 2022 at 5:51 pm #64561
This is very common for the young one to ry and not want to go to their dad.
It doesn’t always mean the mother has told the child to do this though. He may of just missed his mum after the call.
Also the solicitors aren’t qualified to decide if its in the child’s best interest or not. They are only there to facilitate the process of the law. Lots of different ways to tackle this, but it needs good communication between the child’s mum and father. A calm talk with the child to get to the bottom of the cause.6 January 2022 at 6:13 pm #64562
Surreyman making a really good point.
When a child’s world has been turned upside down by a split – which is recent, on occasion they understandably do sometimes panic and cling on to what is most familiar. Grown ups are not that much different!7 January 2022 at 9:48 am #64584
Thanks. I will try not to get involved too much in it. The communication has broken down between the Mother and Father. He told me they are only supposed to communicate through solicitors and I don’t think it has gone to court yet. I have been seeing him off and on for over 2 years, but I was getting different stories and the full split with his wife was possibly 10 months ago. I probably do need to put some distance between my daughter and him and warn her it might all go pear shaped if the situation gets too complicated. She’s 6 but mature and stable and I’ve had other boyfriends, so hopefully she won’t get too attached.7 January 2022 at 10:00 am #64586
Yes, I would say you are probably on the right track there with putting some distance and maintaining your boudaries around yourself and DD. As I said hindsight is a wonderful thing and on my journey with my divorce looking back I would have appreciated some home truths from someone who had been there before, as it would have stopped me walking in to certain situations that I thought I understood but actually didn’t.
If these two are only communicating through solicitors then I have to say it is likely there has been some kind of verbal or even physical or emotional abuse for it to get to that stage unfortunately. There comes a point where no matter how fond you are of someone you have to put the needs of your son or daughter first and indeed your own as self care.
All those years ago, I also had got involved with someone when they were offically still married but seperated and waiting for those two years to pass so they could get divorced and avoid legal fees. It went against the grain with me, as in my book married is married so I ended up drawing my boundary and saying ‘unless you divorce that’s it for our relationship’.
Looking back that was one of the things I’m glad I did.
Divorce can take it’s emotional toll though some on here have amicable ones – it can be messy and whilst it is going on it is really difficult to see straight with emotions and perhaps for some time afterwards so my advice would be yes, try to slow it down, get some space for yourself and think ‘boundaries’.
Good luck7 January 2022 at 2:54 pm #64610
Summers coming. A nice common place like a park with swings and slides where all relevant adults can be.
I think the mums concerns are justified. If the child is performing from a phone xall think of what she’d have to deal with letting him go and then having him back.
After seperation some children are better emotionally adapt to be reassured that all parents ‘get on’. Its an allowance of conversationand hapiness for hapiness.
Try to arrange a mutual play date as the weather warms all parents and children together so the chikd can be reassured theres no bad blood.