Should my kids have access to their own room at my ex's home?

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  • #9506 Report

    Aquitaine
    Participant

    Hi all. This is my first post and I’m looking for some objective advice. For context, I’ve been divorced about 18 months. It was an extremely acrimonious one. I have 2 daughters with my ex aged 15 and 12. My 15 year old is about to take her GCSEs.

    My kids live with me most of the time but visit with their dad every other weekend and some school holidays. Also ad hoc days here and there. We’re flexible.

    My ex lives with his girlfriend and her teenage sons. 3 of them. I’m not allowed to meet her. The 3 sons have their own room each and my girls currently have access to a very small room that they share. This isn’t my worry.

    My concern is that my ex recently told me he and his girlfriend are downsizing and moving to a smaller property. However, my kids have told me that they will no longer have access to their own room and will be expected to sleep on sofa beds in the living room when they visit.

    I’m really uncomfortable with this arrangement. No privacy. How will they feel part of the family if they’re made to feel like visitors? What will they do if they feel ill or just need their own space? Already my kids aren’t included in family holidays or special occasions (Christmas/Easter) with my ex and his partner and it feels like they’re an inconvenience to them. My youngest has some medical issues (minor, but toilet related) and I’m concerned she’ll worry about having an accident on a sofa that everyone will notice. At the moment, my ex seems to have presented this to my kids as being like a big ‘camping adventure’. But where will they keep all of their belongings and clothes? How will they feel at home if everything is packed away?

    I do appreciate that logistically it’s difficult with so many kids, but I get the impression that ex’s girlfriend’s children and mine don’t mix all that often.

    I also understand that ex’s girlfriend doesn’t want her children to share a room so mine can have access to one when they’re staying.  However, her eldest is at university most of the time so isn’t around much. I don’t think my ex has any financial interest in either the old property or the proposed new one so I’m not sure how much input he has in this new arrangement.

    I’m very scared to bring this up with ex as he takes any query, however gently asked, as a personal attack. He can be verbally aggressive and any ‘waves’ I make usually result in vindictive ‘punishments’ further down the line when I least expect them. However, I can’t help but be concerned.

    Am I being too dramatic and it will all be okay? Or am I right to be a little worried? Perhaps I should just stand back and watch my kids? Take my lead from them?

    I’d be grateful for any thoughts.

    #9508 Report

    H
    Participant

    My ex moved back in with his parents over a year ago when he walked out for another woman my boys 8 and 12 have to share a double sofa bed every other weekend and don’t sleep as they say it’s not comfortable and they don’t like sharing a bed I approached my ex he told me it was none of my f**king business at Xmas there was presents in the room my ex sleeps they couldn’t be bothered to move them our 12 year old had to sleep in same bed as his dad and 8 year old with his nan 🤔. He meant to be moving in with the woman he left for in June and refusing to say anything I asked if they have a bed when he moves and again none of my business it’s so frustrating isn’t it.

    Unfortunately out of our control so like me I think u will have to wait and see when they move what happens then if girls not happy then approach but I know exactly what u feel like.

    #9509 Report

    Aquitaine
    Participant

    Thanks for the comment. It’s good to hear an objective point of view. My thought is that if they’re made to feel uncomfortable and unwelcome my girls will stop wanting to visit as often. At the end of the day, that’s my ex’s loss. The less I involve myself the better, I expect. That way my ex can’t blame me when it all goes pear-shaped! Thanks again.

    #9511 Report

    H
    Participant

    My son also suffered with bowel condition (encorpris) I can tell when he’s worried as he withholds and has slight accident so I know that all of this stresses him out too. My ex blames me and says he’s not unhappy when he’s there and they love his gf which is I know he says to get at me as why would they love someone they hardly know and was the reason there dad left she’s not even old enough to have given birth to my eldest as she would have been 14 I was 24 but he thinks he is so perfect and sees no wrong in what he forces on the boys he doesn’t let them have an opinion and my eldest has said we can’t say no because he shouts at us.

    Like you said if he makes them feel uncomfortable then he’s got no one to blame but himself and that’s what I tell myself now to relax and let them figure it out themselves without you having to say negative about there dad as much as that’s hard you can’t make them see your feelings about what he does they have to as you don’t want them to blame you and that’s what I also am having to do now.

    #9512 Report

    Aquitaine
    Participant

    It sounds as though your ex is trying to convince himself more than anyone else that your boys ‘love’ his new partner and that he’s done the ‘right thing’. I’m not allowed to meet my ex’s girlfriend, but I try to view her being in my kids lives as positive. I’m absolutely certain that my ex doesn’t want to appear like a terrible father in front of her, so in that regard, I hope he’s a better dad to my kids than he was previously.

    I hope your kids settle soon. I’m sure they’ll make up their own minds as to what’s going on… and they know they have you to go home to. xxx

    #9521 Report

    H
    Participant

    I have only seen her through pics on fb after what they did having an affair I don’t want to meet her besides that my ex gave her my mobile number and let her use his phone to email me and she is a vile human being i hate the fact that the boys have to have anything to do with her but i know if i tried to stop it he would choose her over the boys as he lets them down loads so they can go out or on holiday so I have as little communication and contact as I can with my ex as he is verbally and emotionally abusive too.

    The boys have already told me he asked if they wanted to live with them told them they would be happier and have a better life and they said no we want to live with mum he then told me I have poisoned them.

    Children are not silly they know what they want your girls shouldn’t be pushed out either they are his children and should be his main priority too many kids have to experience this life it must be so hard for them to have to except.

    #9529 Report

    Aquitaine
    Participant

    Your ex and mine seem to have swapped notes! My ex used to send my kids text messages telling them they had to choose between him and me. When he first told me they were moving I thought it was another ploy to get them to move in with him (much bigger, more luxurious home than they have we me). What I hold onto though, is that when they’re tired or not feeling very well, they want to be at home with me, sleeping in their own beds. Also, I got it wrong, why would they feel like his house is home to them when they don’t even have a bed there?!

    I’ve tried my very best not to react to the things my ex says and does to try to get a rise out of me. Like your ex, mine was also abusive. He still is to a certain extent. When we split up and he realised he’d lost control over me the abuse got even worse, and it happened quickly. I hope now that we’re past the worst of it. The most hurtful thing now is him making excuses not to see the kids so he can go away for the weekend, or spend time with his new partner’s family instead. Instead, I try to do things with the kids and make the most of the extra time I get to spend with them.

    I had good friends who tried to reassure me during the bad times that the kids would see through the games he was trying to play. The most important lesson I learned is that the only way to win the ‘war’ was not to take part in it. It has meant ignoring the vilest things that he has said and done to try to get my attention, but he seems to have learned now where the boundaries are and that I just won’t respond to him unless he’s civil. To be honest, though, any time I have to contact him about something to do with the kids (even something as simple as parents evenings!) I feel sick to my stomach about how he’ll reply.

    Your boys sound very sensible, and you sound like you’re doing a great job ‘rising above it’. You should be proud.

    #9531 Report

    H
    Participant

    Thank you you should be too as it’s not easy going through this and still be the best mum you can at the same time. I hate contacting too and my way of thinking now is although we want to know absolutely everything is our ex going to be that bothered by what we want to tell them and then I decide as I know he does the same my youngest swallowed a tooth Friday he didn’t tell me my son did last night difference there is id want to know but if that happened here he wouldn’t difference in us as people I suppose. But yeah I know what u mean to ignore them is difficult and they know how to push buttons that’s for sure

    #9546 Report

    Aquitaine
    Participant

    You’re spot on about that! I’d definitely want to know if my kid swallowed a tooth!

    Thanks for chatting. So nice to know I’m not the only one experiencing things like this. It makes me feel more normal. 🙂

    #9558 Report

    H
    Participant

    Nice talking to you too hopefully can talk again it’s hard when your friends haven’t been through it as they don’t really understand so I feel I shouldn’t talk about it to them.

    #9559 Report

    Schubert
    Participant

    Hi there,

    Sorry to jump in but your eldest is about to take GCSEs and then study for another 2 years?

    I understand that your children only visit regularly every other weekend but how will your daughter be able to concentrate?

    Will this be meeting her needs?

    #9560 Report

    Aquitaine
    Participant

    Yep. I know it’s far from ideal, but we don’t yet know when the move will take place. I’ve gently suggested to my eldest that if it takes place during exams she have a think about where she feels she can study best. She’s sensible and takes the exams very seriously so I just have to trust she’ll do what’s best for when everything happens.

    I’m mostly so disappointed in their father that he’s not giving the kids any priority in his ‘new life’, but so far the kids are sucked into believing his excuses and buying into his manipulation. I face alienating them if I slip up and they see my dissatisfaction. My hope is that the reality of having to wait for everyone to go to bed before they can have any space will wear thin very soon. Long term I can’t see this working very well. If I have to say something I will, but my ex responds very badly when I question things like this.

     

    #40174 Report

    As a child of divorced parents, I live with my mom but go to sleep at my dads girlfriends house who hes been with for almost 2 years. I don’t really interact with my step sibling who are all older than me.. Her youngest is 13 as well as me. I go to there like twice a month with my litter sister (9) and we usually sleep in my dad and his wife’s bed and they sleep on the couch. Honestly i would feel more comfortable in my own room even if i have to share with my sister. I don’t feel comfortable sleeping in my dads room knowing what him and his wife may do on there… they have a daughter who is locked in her room when my sister and I get to the house and my sister and I just sit on the couch, not as comfortable as her kids. So yes, your kids should have access to their own room.

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