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    • onedaysomeday
    • By onedaysomeday 10th May 18, 10:35 AM
    • 560Posts
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    onedaysomeday
    Venting and advice needed
    • #1
    • 10th May 18, 10:35 AM
    Venting and advice needed 10th May 18 at 10:35 AM
    Hi all - in a situation that I'm struggling to handle and seem some perspective and some advice if anyone has any!

    I am in a relationship with a man with kids, knew beforehand, not an issue, in fact im dying to meet them. We have been together since July last year so approaching 12 months together soon, and it has been a massive struggle.

    The last 10 or so months have been constant up and down thanks to his ex. There were months on end of her sending him abusive texts threatening for him to not see his kids if she didn't get her way. There was one incident where we had changed around when we would see eachother (we only see each other once or twice a week as it is) so that she could go on a date with someone she was seeing, on the provision we would get a weekend day together a few weeks later (he has them the one weekend day he has off unless a miracle happens so we tend to see eachother in the week where I have to be up at 5.45 and out by 6.30 to 7 o clock) and when that day came around she wanted to go on a date with someone else to spite who she was seeing and told him he wouldn't be seeing his kids if he wouldn't change his plans last minute to suit her.

    She's even sent me an abusive message before accusing me of trying to make him put me first and not the kids. He had to go and collect something from hers before we drove for a weekend to see his family once and she told him that because he had debated me being in the car (outside, no where near the house or kids) he wouldn't see the kids on his birthday on the Sunday. Sunday rolls around and she lets the kids call asking why he doesn't want to see them on his birthday.

    It just never seems to get any easier, I pretty much get told when I'm going to see him by her choosing when she wants to see her boyfriend. He doesn't really have any interest in being involved with the kids, which is primarily why I'm not allowed to meet them as well as the fact that she does not like me. My OH is too worried to ever say no he can't do a certain day or ask if he and I can spend a certain day together it's always a flat out no. He's a very flexible involved dad - does school runs in the morning so she can go to work early or the gym, picks them up from school the days he finishes work on time, he's always the one to leave work and head to the school if his son (diabetic) needs anything even though her work is much closer, very accommodating for her when she asks/tells.

    I also most weeks don't know until the Sunday when I will be seeing him the following week even though she works the same hours every week and he gets his rotas done 3 weeks in advance - she just refuses to plan ahead. It seems a little unfair (this is where I probably begin to sound selfish) that it always seems to be OH and I trying to squeeze in time together so they can see eachother when they like. He works a minimum of four nights each week, sometimes five, until 10 or 11pm so it's not like I can spend quality time together every night he doesn't have the kids.

    She's quite happy to plan holidays with her boyfriend in advance and demand he books the time off of work, but can't plan a week or two in advance when she wants him to have the kids to make everyone's lives easier. The cynic in me says she deliberately does it so we struggle to make plans, she's never been supportive of his relationship with me. It also looks like we may struggle to go away anywhere this year if all of his holiday is used to accomodate her going away, so possibly it'll be she's gone away 3 or 4 times and we won't have gone anywhere. It all just seems highly unbalanced.

    I just feel that nearly a year in, when we will end up living together soon, we should be in a position where I have met the children. She's making life more difficult for herself by not allowing it, as we'd be able to have them more together than he does alone. She has said before he shouldn't have to rely on her telling him when he has the kids to which he replied that she says no when he tries to arrange otherwise, and he wants to have a relationship and is happy to have the kids more, but with us having them together. She did say a while ago that when we move in together we could be introduced, but who knows when that will be.

    It just puts a lot of strain on our relationship. He has said that I will meet the kids regardless eventually, but I don't know what it will take for him to actually turn around and say that I am meeting them and she should accept it. His daughter has asked many many times when she is going to be meeting me. We end up arguing quite often because I get stressed having to plan my week last minute because I don't know when I'm going to be seeing him, or just stressed in general because I didn't think we would still be struggling this much for me to see the kids a year down the line.

    I know this is a long post, and I know the priority here is the kids, I quite often get called selfish by him as I want to talk about how it all makes me feel, but I don't have a massive amount of friends, and the people I live with are people he works with so I don't want to drag them into any stress I have so unfortunately unless I bottle it up, he is the person I talk to, which doesn't go well when it's the same thing I'm saying over and over.

    I guess I just came on as we had a disagreement yesterday and it just feels like too much today. I know that once things are all settled that we'll have a wonderful life, I just kind of thought it would be more settled than it is by now. He made a comment this morning that his only frustrations lie with me right now as she is being okay with him, which all I could think is well of course she's okay she's in control of the entire situation, including some of my life to an extent. It's just all very stressful and I don't know how to manage it better...
    Just trying to make up for past mistakes and work towards the future I want
Page 1
    • BrassicWoman
    • By BrassicWoman 10th May 18, 12:08 PM
    • 1,870 Posts
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    BrassicWoman
    • #2
    • 10th May 18, 12:08 PM
    • #2
    • 10th May 18, 12:08 PM
    I don't think he is really single. He may be separated, but he hasn't found a way to manage his other relationship.

    I would take a break until he has. No need for a big song and dance, just step back and see what happens.
    Jan 18 grocery challenge 105.13/ 150
    • Rachel83
    • By Rachel83 10th May 18, 2:13 PM
    • 300 Posts
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    Rachel83
    • #3
    • 10th May 18, 2:13 PM
    • #3
    • 10th May 18, 2:13 PM
    Cant be easy for him, stuck in between a nightmare ex and a new woman demanding more attention and time. I agree with him, you will eventually get all of his time, but have to work out if you are prepared to wait for it. By the way it took 4 years for me and my other half to move in together, and I have children from a previous marriage, there is no set rule. But clearly you are not happy with the current situation
    • onedaysomeday
    • By onedaysomeday 10th May 18, 2:20 PM
    • 560 Posts
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    onedaysomeday
    • #4
    • 10th May 18, 2:20 PM
    • #4
    • 10th May 18, 2:20 PM
    Yeah I get that it's hard for him - they spent so many years with him basically managing his life around hers so it's bound to be stressful to still do that to an extent so they remain amicable for the kids. I'm more than happy to wait with the knowledge that things will get easier it just all seems impossible sometimes. I don't ever really expect to have all of his time, just wishing for a little more forward planning for things to run more smoothly I guess
    Just trying to make up for past mistakes and work towards the future I want
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 10th May 18, 2:41 PM
    • 13,266 Posts
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    Pixie5740
    • #5
    • 10th May 18, 2:41 PM
    • #5
    • 10th May 18, 2:41 PM
    My advice would be to not stress yourself out trying to fit your life around his. I know that when dating someone with children there needs to be a degree of flexibility but at the moment he is bending over backwards to accommodate his ex and you're bending over backwards to accommodate him....stop. If you want to go and do something or meet up with people, go ahead and arrange it rather than waiting to find out when he's going to be free.

    Try not to rush things. Even when there are no children involved some people just aren't ready to live together after year. There isn't a strict timetable you need to live by.
    • Mummy2cheekymonkeys
    • By Mummy2cheekymonkeys 10th May 18, 2:58 PM
    • 181 Posts
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    Mummy2cheekymonkeys
    • #6
    • 10th May 18, 2:58 PM
    • #6
    • 10th May 18, 2:58 PM
    Why does your partner have to book holiday from work if his ex is going on holiday? Is she asking him to look after the kids while she goes away or does she take them with her?
    • WibblyGirly
    • By WibblyGirly 10th May 18, 3:04 PM
    • 427 Posts
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    WibblyGirly
    • #7
    • 10th May 18, 3:04 PM
    • #7
    • 10th May 18, 3:04 PM
    Honestly, I'd have walked away pretty soon from this arrangement. Maybe he should look into having access rules firmly set so there won't be any more silly games like she's playing now.

    Was there much of a gap between the previous break up and the guy getting together with you?
    • pimento
    • By pimento 10th May 18, 3:30 PM
    • 5,517 Posts
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    pimento
    • #8
    • 10th May 18, 3:30 PM
    • #8
    • 10th May 18, 3:30 PM
    Do her boyfriends meet her children?
    "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." -- Red Adair
    • onedaysomeday
    • By onedaysomeday 10th May 18, 3:38 PM
    • 560 Posts
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    onedaysomeday
    • #9
    • 10th May 18, 3:38 PM
    • #9
    • 10th May 18, 3:38 PM
    Why does your partner have to book holiday from work if his ex is going on holiday? Is she asking him to look after the kids while she goes away or does she take them with her?
    Originally posted by Mummy2cheekymonkeys
    No she is going away just her and her partner for at least a couple of the holidays so he needs to book the time off to have the kids
    Just trying to make up for past mistakes and work towards the future I want
    • onedaysomeday
    • By onedaysomeday 10th May 18, 3:41 PM
    • 560 Posts
    • 819 Thanks
    onedaysomeday
    Honestly, I'd have walked away pretty soon from this arrangement. Maybe he should look into having access rules firmly set so there won't be any more silly games like she's playing now.

    Was there much of a gap between the previous break up and the guy getting together with you?
    Originally posted by WibblyGirly
    He did try to sort out mediation a few times when she was being particularly unpleasant but she always sorted herself out or refused to go

    He left home in January but from what I gather would have been sooner if it had not been for trying to get some financial stuff in order and looking for a flat
    Just trying to make up for past mistakes and work towards the future I want
    • onedaysomeday
    • By onedaysomeday 10th May 18, 3:42 PM
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    onedaysomeday
    Do her boyfriends meet her children?
    Originally posted by pimento
    He has met them I think not really out of choice just not being out of the house in time before the kids come back from their dads - it doesn't sound like he wants much to do with them to be honest
    Just trying to make up for past mistakes and work towards the future I want
    • onedaysomeday
    • By onedaysomeday 10th May 18, 3:44 PM
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    onedaysomeday
    he is bending over backwards to accommodate his ex and you're bending over backwards to accommodate him....
    Originally posted by Pixie5740
    I think this pretty much sums up what I'm struggling with, he doesn't seem to understand if I make plans and they end up conflicting with the days he is available to see me
    Just trying to make up for past mistakes and work towards the future I want
    • Mummy2cheekymonkeys
    • By Mummy2cheekymonkeys 10th May 18, 3:52 PM
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    Mummy2cheekymonkeys
    OK. So when she swans off on holiday and he has to look after the kids why can they not meet you then?
    • onedaysomeday
    • By onedaysomeday 10th May 18, 4:05 PM
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    onedaysomeday
    OK. So when she swans off on holiday and he has to look after the kids why can they not meet you then?
    Originally posted by Mummy2cheekymonkeys
    I really don't know, we were on facetime the last time she went away and his daughter wanted to say hi so we did quickly and he got no end of grief about that and a threat to not see them again. It's been a flat out no every time he has asked other than once where she said she would think about it and then it quickly became a no
    Just trying to make up for past mistakes and work towards the future I want
    • Mummy2cheekymonkeys
    • By Mummy2cheekymonkeys 10th May 18, 4:20 PM
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    Mummy2cheekymonkeys
    I'm sure she's very quick to say no when it suits her but I'm sure she would change her tune if your partner put his foot down and said that either they meet you when she goes on holiday or he won't have time off to look after them so she had better cancel her holiday.
    She sounds pretty nasty to me.
    • onedaysomeday
    • By onedaysomeday 10th May 18, 4:31 PM
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    onedaysomeday
    I forgot to mention I did almost meet them once ages ago when it meant she could go on a date but because we suggested we just have them until 10 (and not overnight on the first meeting) it went down hill from there, but I wasn't ready to spend overnight with them right off and I doubt they were either

    Haha I'm sure that would go down a treat. I respect his decision not to push her too much I just wish she'd appreciate the running around he does and give a little back sometimes
    Just trying to make up for past mistakes and work towards the future I want
    • elsien
    • By elsien 10th May 18, 4:35 PM
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    elsien
    This is down to your partner to sort out and develop a bit of backbone.
    Yes the kids come first, but putting them first isn't the same as him changing all his plans as soon as the ex says jump. Especially if she's then misleading the children about what is happening.
    You can't make him change. If he's not prepared to draw any sort of line then you can't push him into it. But what you can do is change how you respond to it and as others have said, make your own plans rather than drop everything when his change. He really can't have it both ways.
    It's not easy for him - a relative had an ex like this who used the children as a form of control. But when he stood his ground, she stopped messing him around quite so much. Maybe this would be the same. Are there formal access arrangements done through the court, or is it an informal agreeement. Has he ever seen a solicitor to look at his options. If not, maybe he should, knowledge being power and all that.
    Otherwise you're going to carry on like this for the next X years, and is that a way that you really want to live?

    He made a comment this morning that his only frustrations lie with me right now as she is being okay with him, which all I could think is well of course she's okay she's in control of the entire situation, including some of my life to an extent. It's just all very stressful and I don't know how to manage it better...
    Originally posted by onedaysomeday
    He really does want it both ways, doesn't he? That little comment would have made me want to brain him. Shows a massive (probably wilful) misunderstanding of the situation which doesn't bode particularly well for anything changing any time soon.
    Last edited by elsien; 10-05-2018 at 4:39 PM.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • onedaysomeday
    • By onedaysomeday 10th May 18, 5:04 PM
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    onedaysomeday
    This is down to your partner to sort out and develop a bit of backbone.
    Yes the kids come first, but putting them first isn't the same as him changing all his plans as soon as the ex says jump. Especially if she's then misleading the children about what is happening.
    You can't make him change. If he's not prepared to draw any sort of line then you can't push him into it. But what you can do is change how you respond to it and as others have said, make your own plans rather than drop everything when his change. He really can't have it both ways.
    It's not easy for him - a relative had an ex like this who used the children as a form of control. But when he stood his ground, she stopped messing him around quite so much. Maybe this would be the same. Are there formal access arrangements done through the court, or is it an informal agreeement. Has he ever seen a solicitor to look at his options. If not, maybe he should, knowledge being power and all that.
    Otherwise you're going to carry on like this for the next X years, and is that a way that you really want to live?


    He really does want it both ways, doesn't he? That little comment would have made me want to brain him. Shows a massive (probably wilful) misunderstanding of the situation which doesn't bode particularly well for anything changing any time soon.
    Originally posted by elsien
    I think that's what I will do, start making my own arrangements and show that I do have a life too and we all need to work together a bit more.

    Oh that comment I did bite at but it was amidst other conversation and it just irked him that was the first thing I clung onto out of the conversation.

    It's all informal, he has seen one for a free half hour or whatever before who said that as long as it was on his time with the kids there wasn't much grounds for me not being allowed to meet them. He's been trying to respect her wishes in the hope that she will come around to it and saying when we live together we can be introduced was a vaguely positive step but im wary of trusting her word that we can even then.

    I guess I've just got to start, as everyone has said (thank you everyone for your replies) making my own plans and taking it from there
    Just trying to make up for past mistakes and work towards the future I want
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 10th May 18, 7:50 PM
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    sheramber
    If she carried out her threat of him not seeing the children again who would look after them when she wanted to go a date or on holiday?

    He needs to take a step back and not be bullied or you accept that he is not going to change and she will always have control over him.
    • Doodles
    • By Doodles 10th May 18, 8:34 PM
    • 285 Posts
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    Doodles
    I guess I just came on as we had a disagreement yesterday and it just feels like too much today. I know that once things are all settled that we'll have a wonderful life, I just kind of thought it would be more settled than it is by now. He made a comment this morning that his only frustrations lie with me right now as she is being okay with him, which all I could think is well of course she's okay she's in control of the entire situation, including some of my life to an extent. It's just all very stressful and I don't know how to manage it better...
    Originally posted by onedaysomeday

    I can imagine this is very stressful. But the bit in bold is what's most worrying in my opinion. He doesn't see this as much of a problem as you do. Which suggests he isn't going to do much about making things better.

    He is too involved with his ex, and letting her dictate his life. Like others have already said, he needs to get a backbone.

    I don't think you should "manage it better". I think you should step away from this relationship, at least for the moment. I do think you deserve better than you are getting.
    We are in Transylvania, and Transylvania is not England. Our ways are not your ways, and there shall be to you many strange things.

    Dracula, Bram Stoker
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