Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Not sure I can live separate lives with DP - any advice?

(43 Posts)
canidothiswouldyou Fri 28-Jun-13 19:55:36

Hi, i'm hoping to get some other perspectives on our situation as I feel I may be being blinkered.

I've been with DP for around 18 months now and we are looking to move in together soon. Our relationship is good, we've had our ups and downs but we are really happy at the moment apart from one problem. His Ex wife. She will not let us have the children together.

He sees them at least 3 times a week at their house, so spends plenty of time with them which is great but I can't see our future with this arrangement. My ex has our children two nights a week over at his house, his girlfriend is sometimes there, sometimes not but I put no restrictions on his access at all and we are very flexible as well as amicable.

I don't want to be sat at home two nights a week and every sunday while he's having bbq's with his kids and his ex wife. He seems resigned to the situation and is reluctant to rock the boat with his ex who has threatened to move away if he tries to gain proper access.

I am completely happy to have his children at our house, stay over, make them as comfortable and welcome as possible. I don't want to be their Mother - they have one and I have my own children.

I'm not jealous of her, I do feel that he panders to her too much but I have no concerns that he wants her back, she does want him back unfortunately and I think this is where the problem lies, she likes him being there doing little jobs around the house and bringing groceries etc.

I don't know if I can do this, I feel like his mistress, we talk of marriage and the future but I just can't see me being happy with his 2 separate lives.

Any advice?

MortifiedAdams Fri 28-Jun-13 19:57:51

It lies with him, not her. He needs to stop doing home visits and insist on proper contact which involves him taking the dcs away from her.

If he isnt prepared to do this, then maybe you need to reconsider.

Squitten Fri 28-Jun-13 20:01:13

If your DP wants proper access to his children in his own home then he should take his ex to court and secure it. If he's unwilling to do that, then the decision lies with you as to whether you are content to live in this setup or move on.

Personally, I would do the latter.

Lweji Fri 28-Jun-13 20:28:48

Yes, why wouldn't he be able to see the children in his own home???

Are they newborns?

NatashaBee Fri 28-Jun-13 20:34:13

Unless they're breastfed, that's ridiculous. He needs to agree a plan with her to 'phase them in' to visiting his house instead of him going there. I don't think it's healthy for the children to think their parents are still together when that's clearly not the case.

canidothiswouldyou Fri 28-Jun-13 20:36:09

That's what I thought - I feel so angry with him that he wont fight for us and his children and feel that he's choosing the easy option but wasn't sure if it was just me being selfish. I do feel for him as sometimes it seems like he has to choose between us, and he has his ex making threats/demands and me moaning all at the same time. I love him to bits and wish it could be easy.

I've said that if it continues then I will find other activities to do whilst he is there, but then that separates us even more. He thinks that because he is seeing his children then it's okay, and it would upset him if I was out doing something else whilst he was there. He's always longer than he says anyway which drives me mad and causes arguments (especially as it's usually due to his ex saying she has to go to the shop 2 minutes before he is due to leave - then saying 'oooh will you be in trouble for being late?') He's been 1-2hrs late regularly and they live 2 minutes away.

NatashaBee Fri 28-Jun-13 20:45:20

She sounds like a pain. It must be really sad for the kids to not even know what their dad's house looks like. If he phrases it to her as 'what do I need to do to make you comfortable with the kids coming to my house?' then it makes it a bit more difficult for her to just say 'No'.

Don't move in with him. Dump him.
This man is a harem keeper. He is enjoying having two women 'loving' him and competing for his time and attention. It feeds his ego to know that his XW is pining for him, and it's also a useful way of keeping you in line - if you don't suck his cock enough, or nag him to put the bin out, he can subtly threaten to go back to her.

canidothiswouldyou Fri 28-Jun-13 20:55:05

There is no communicating with her at all unfortunately, she is quite strange, drinks excessively rings up drunk in the night - a few nights ago she rang him and said she'd had a funny phone call and insinuated I had made it. She has also (I have only just found out) accused me of breaking into her house and stealing food from the freezer!! confused

SGB he's never threatened to go back to her - I have told him to go back numerous times because if he allows her to dictate his life like this then he may as well go back, he will never have a life (with me or anyone else) if he doesn't sort this out and the children are going to be completely screwed up.

How about he suggest a few mediation sessions to his XW to resolve the issue? I'd have thought that if she refuses that would reflect badly on her if it ended up going to court.

sweetpeasunday Fri 28-Jun-13 21:08:19

I think who left who and when is important here. I am guessing he left, not too long before he met you and feels guilty. That would be one explanation. The second is that he likes having his feet under the table, is enjoying the ego boost that his ex wife still wants him (are they actually divorced?), whilst you hang around waiting.

Sorry, but regularly 1-2 hours late? It would upset him if you went and did something else while he was there, and being late back? It is his choice not to get legal advice and a proper contact arrangement, why should that curtail your life? He is not treating you with much respect here.

I am guessing they are not actually divorced if there is no formal contact arrangement, in which case legally she is still his wife and you are effectively his mistress. I will put money on it that there is not even a formal separation agreement. He needs to sort things out, I think.

sweetpeasunday Fri 28-Jun-13 21:10:42

X-post, I type too slowly. Did not read OPs latest post. You have only got his word for her behaviour.

sweetpeasunday Fri 28-Jun-13 21:11:38

If she drinks excessively, are there child welfare concerns?

Idislikemymil Fri 28-Jun-13 21:12:42

You need to be cautious here. You've only been together 18 months and you've had 'ups and downs.' That's not a good sign.

WeleaseWodger Fri 28-Jun-13 21:28:06

Did you speak with her or is this heresay? I get why he would pander to her demands to have trouble-free access to his kids.

But.

He would also be saying I'm so sorry, this is complete shit, I know... My problem to sort out, if we are to progress as a couple, how can I make it up to you.

NOT, I don't want you going out and enjoying yourself without me while I'm with my kids and ex, playing at happy families. I want you waiting at home, and getting anxious when I'm two hours late.

Seriously, who does that? Best scenario there is If he sees spending time with his kids as a chore and is jealous you get to do fun stuff and doesn't want to miss out doing them with you. Maybe if he's in his early 20s, you could sort of understand that self-centred thinking.. But he's a dad. And obviously older.

You need to start doing fantastic, fun things fabulous singles do while he's playing happy family. Tell him if he's happy to pretend (to still be married) so are you (to be single.)

See how he reacts to you having fun things planned and if he takes steps to modify the situation with his ex.

Oh and PLEASE be 1-2 hrs late coming back from your activities?

canidothiswouldyou Fri 28-Jun-13 21:53:40

Mediation wouldn't work, she is determined not to let the children into our lives. I do have concerns for the children, they are very disrespectful to their father and seem to view him as a cash machine - he can't go round empty handed and gives them pretty much whatever they ask for which I mostly bite my tongue about.

The ups and downs have mainly been due to her playing games and him pandering - at one stage he was there every day and distancing himself from me, I think he was trying to do as she wanted and let me go but couldn't ultimately go through with it sad

When I say I'm going to do other things it feels like I am blackmailing him by threatening to go off and have fun if he's going round there, and then it looks like I don't want him spending time with the children, which isn't true at all?!? I'm so confused by the whole stupid situation. I don't have rl friends so no one to get outside advice from, it gets pretty lonely tbh.

Finallygotaroundtoit Fri 28-Jun-13 22:02:29

Are they actually separated?

How much of what she says can you verify and how much is what he has reported her saying or doing?

He is at very least content with the status quo - at worst he's feeding you a line sad

Decide what you want and if he resists reconsider how committed to your relationship he really is

sweetpeasunday Fri 28-Jun-13 22:16:45

To be frank, I am not surprised they are disrespectful to their father, who knows, from their perspective, he is a man who has left them, has a girlfriend, and they never get to his house. What is to respect about that? And please don't tell me it is her fault they never get to his house. That is what solicitors are for.

And why does it feel like you are blackmailing him? You are not saying he needs to go.

Who knows what is going on here.

JackAranda Fri 28-Jun-13 22:36:14

there are sometimes when I really want to shake some posters... how can you contemplate living like this ? He is SHOWING you where his priorities are, for how long does this have o go on before you have had enough? He sounds like a weak ineffectual pathetic man child who lacks a backbone. Its not about what his ex WANTS its about the childrens RIGHT to have a relationship with their father. He should take her to court & stop the bloody pathetic pandering. But he wont, because he lacks any real commitment to you.

FGS do NOT move with this creep. dump the twat already

Have you had any direct contact with her to confirm that she is a malevolent, unreasonable, stalky alcoholic? Or is this all stuff he has told you? In general, men whose XPs are 'mad' are men to avoid. And the fact that he wants you to sit at home and fret when he's round at hers is another major red flag. Honestly, bin him and move on. FFS don't get pregnant by him, or it will be your turn to be described as a mad vengeful drunk to his next girlfriend.

Spiritedwolf Sat 29-Jun-13 00:26:13

I've said that if it continues then I will find other activities to do whilst he is there, but then that separates us even more. He thinks that because he is seeing his children then it's okay, and it would upset him if I was out doing something else whilst he was there.

This is really weird and controlling of him. So, how much fun are you allowed to have whilst he's out? Or is it that he's frightened you'll see someone else? And he's often very late to keep you on your toes too?

it feels like I am blackmailing him by threatening to go off and have fun if he's going round there, and then it looks like I don't want him spending time with the children, which isn't true at all

Why do you feel like you would be blackmailing him by doing something as normal as living your life and occupying yourself when he's not there. Could he be making you feel guilty about this? Do you go out with your children or friends without him?

I'm another one sceptical about how controlling and unreasonable his ex?wife really is. For instance, could there be a reason for supervised access, or could this be his choice? Even if she has threatened him with loss of access, he could have stood up to her and got reasonable access agreed through legal means if necessary.

That said, I know some single parents have principles about what stage partners are introduced to children, I wouldn't like to judge when it would reasonable. But this should be clear between them both and you. Why isn't he telling her that his relationship with you is serious and that you should meet the children? why isn't he fighting for a normal family life with you?

You know why it feels like he is treating you as if you are his mistress? because that's exactly how he's treating you while he plays happy families at home.

TBH though, for you, it doesn't matter whether he's being unreasonable, she is or they both are. This is life with him/them, do you really want to still be with him? Certainly don't commit to this relationship further (moving in, kids etc) without him improving the arrangement to one you are all comfortable with.

Are there other red flags in this relationship?

wonderingagain Sat 29-Jun-13 00:37:06

He seems resigned to the situation and is reluctant to rock the boat with his ex who has threatened to move away if he tries to gain proper access.

Why would she want to move away? It could be because he's a nasty piece of work and she's scared of him, or it could also be because she's a controlling cow and not really worthy of the children if she wants to separate them from their father.

Whichever it is, proper access is exactly what's needed. If she decides to move away that's her choice and her children will know that's what she did when they grow up and she will have to live with that fact.

lordleofric Sat 29-Jun-13 07:53:17

What does he expect you to do while he is there? Sit at home waiting? You don't live together. Why does he get a say in what you do with the time that you are not together? Run!

onedev Sat 29-Jun-13 08:08:29

I'm another who finds the whole story fishy - sorry. I'd say run run run. Taking everything he says as true, then why on earth would you want to be involved with someone like that? But I'm actually wondering if they are split up or if you are actually the other woman?

What parts of his story can you verify independently? Have you met his wife? Children? Friends? Co-workers?

It all sounds a bit scary & sinister to me, sorry & I'm usually one to take things at face value & can be naive at times. Good luck. Hope things work out for you.

Yet another person who has read and thinks 'run!'

There is no DP, just a man still tied to a relationship and trying to convince you that you're more than just the OW. Not from where I'm sitting, sorry.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now