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When kids want a break from ex's SO

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cmego posted 8/4/2013 20:10 PM

Kids were with ex this weekend, and as I"m tucking my smallest Small into bed...he says, "Mom. I want a break from "B"." B is ex's boyfriend (they are gay...). "Every time we see Dad, B is there. I want a break from him always coming over."

^^^^This child is 7. SEVEN.

I asked if he talked to his Dad about it, and he said that "Dad said there was nothing I could do about it". Then asked me to talk to Dad for him. I told him he needs to talk to his Dad...but obviously some conversation happened this weekend about Dad being gay.

I asked older Small what happened, and her little ADHD brain said, "I don't really remember Mom. I asked Dad if he would like to move to another state so he could marry B...but I don't remember what his answer was."

Then she (10) looked at me and said, "Mom, when are you going to start dating someone?" I said that I was waiting to meet someone extra special, but I am in no big hurry. Then she said, 'What are you going to do if the next one turns out to be a fraud too?"

I stopped for a moment, then said, "Well, I hope I can recognize the signs that someone isn't who they say they are this time."

WTH happened this weekend? Ex won't answer. He said, "It was no big deal"...translation : I'm going to do whatever I want with my boyfriend.

How have you guys handled this?? The kids want "B" to back off. "B" isn't going anywhere. This is between them and their Dad, but it sucks seeing them hurt. It also sucks that my dd called her Dad a "fraud". I was surprised at that term, it isn't something I've ever used....

I just have to suck it up. I know. Nothing I can do but allow him to fuck up his relationship with his kids by putting his boyfriend first.

phmh posted 8/4/2013 20:16 PM

I've no advice, but just tons of hugs and happiness that they have you.

(((cmego & kids)))

caregiver9000 posted 8/4/2013 20:21 PM


How have I handled this? Well, there are no conversations here. Not even the polite pretend but no information is exchanged kind. I use these types of conversations with the kids to reinforce that mommy has no say over how daddy spends his time. That I would get involved if they were in danger, but not if they were unhappy. I sympathize, cuddle, validate their feelings, but I can't navigate the world they face EOW for them.

Your DD's comment is heart breaking. Such a disillusioned little princess isn't she? Fraud? Wow. She has a perception that her dad misrepresented himself and that you fell for it. I hope you can point out that life doesn't always serve up what we thought it would and that you COPE and cross the bridges when they come, no matter how often or how crappy the bridge is. I hate that they are both obviously struggling with some dynamic but I LOVE that they are openly discussing it with you.

I feel like I have to caution you that your ex doesn't take it out on the kids for telling his business since you have tried to get information from him about what they brought home. You know him best, but that would be a real concern here under similar circumstances.


cmego posted 8/4/2013 20:41 PM

I probably should haven't asked him...but it is obvious that something went down this weekend. I ask questions to make sure "B" isn't being inappropriate. I tried to find out if something happened...what reason would my 7 year old suddenly want a "break from B"?

I have encouraged the kids to talk to their Dad about everything. I think he just shoves their concerns under the rug and keeps doing whatever he wants.

I sympathized with them both, told them I knew it was tough stuff to be dealing with and it was OK to think "it is weird" (the term they use...). Lots of cuddles and no real emotion from me except to listen.

Yes. The word "fraud". I have no idea where that came from. I had to take a breath before I answered. My gut reaction was to tell her I had learned my lesson and I would be very careful to choose someone very special when the time is right. But, again, my priority is them and I'm in no rush to date.

My 7 year old asked, "When do we have to go back to Dad's? Oh, 2 weeks? good!"

Repeat to myself: Let him fuck up his relationship with his kids. Nothing I can do about it. I have to watch them hurt, but in the long run it is for the best.


caregiver9000 posted 8/4/2013 21:30 PM

Hey, whatever you do, don't beat yourself up for it! I honestly admire how you handle the kids and the land mines of questions. HONESTLY. Your response sounded perfect from here. Confident with no magical thinking, capable, learn from mistakes, honest, open. All of it sounds great!!

Your co-parenting relationship is different from mine. Asking him based on how you have been going seems logical. I just caution you because I know where I am and I guess I think it could turn on a pin at any moment. No sudden surprises for you if it does right?

I did have a second thought for how you could reframe the request from DS. If what he wants is one on one face time with dad without B around, then suggest that- either orchestrated by you or not.

You continue to handle your babies with such grace through this.

cmego posted 8/4/2013 21:47 PM

Do not engage with assholes.
Do not engage with assholes.
Do not engage with assholes.

I have suggested before that ex pull B "back", but ex ignored me. What he doesn't get is that he hurt his children too. He stays focused on how he is "sorry he hurt mommy", but doesn't seem to address hurting his children.

He is defending, deflecting and saying they had a "great talk" this weekend. Older child asked if "B" sleeps over when they aren't there, and ex said he answered honestly. That was the end of their "great talk".

He wanted to know what kids said, and I laid out the basics.

Do not engage with selfish assholes.

This is the usual MO. I discuss all of the challenges with the kids, and keep ex in the loop since we are dealing with a lot of adjustment. Ex says he is "going to talk to the kids"...and...surprisingly...never seems to actually talk to them. This weekend was instigated by dd asked about the sleeping arrangements...not him.

Do not engage with assholes.
Do not engage with assholes.

Ex seems to think telling the kids about his life is appropriate topics for young kids. Like they are "friends". He has no clue how to parent, and I'm not going to save him.

The kids see him for who he is...scary.

Do not engage with assholes.

cayc posted 8/4/2013 21:55 PM

Wow. Just wow. But a enjoyable evil little giggle at your daughter's choice of the word "fraud".

cmego posted 8/4/2013 22:14 PM

I've always used the term "Daddy made choices that I don't agree with. He lied to me about who he was. That was his choice. "

I've never used the word fraud. I have no idea where she heard it, and to use it correctly is scary.

I feel sorry for her, both my children actually, that they have to face what ex chose to do.

I am sad that they want me to date. Sometimes I feel like I'm failing them because I'm not in a new relationship too. They somehow equate that will make me...happy? Make them happy? IC says they miss the family dynamic and by me being in a serious relationship, they will get that dynamic back.

Frick. Frack.

devistatedmom posted 8/4/2013 22:21 PM

cmego...I don't take their comments asking when you are going to start dating as them wanting you to. I think your son was asking, because when you do, then that person will be around all the time like B is always around daddy, and then he will never get you to himself. That's how a 7yo thinks.

Best thing to do right now? Take them out and do something special, even if it's a picnic in the park and letting them play...something that they know all of mommy's attention is right there, for them, no one else. I think your son is looking for recognition that you won't start ignoring him too.


cmego posted 8/4/2013 22:29 PM

My 7 year old is the one that questions what I do on the weekends they are away too. He is looking for me to date. He wants to know I'm not lonely when they aren't here (I assure them I am not...).

He is my sensitive one, and protective. I am careful with him that he doesn't step into a protective role with me. That is just who he is...sweet little guy. I spent a lot of time with him last week, and I was planning something fun tomorrow. They will shake this conversation far quicker that I will. I hate they hurt.


persevere posted 8/4/2013 23:33 PM

So you asked the questions and are you comfortable that B didn't go over the line somewhere? I can be over cautious but my spidey senses went off with small's concerns.

And it's not the gay thing - I would have the same senses with a straight couple in this situation. Could be inappropriate discipline involvement, etc.

I'm sorry cmego - this is not cool.

Bluebird26 posted 8/5/2013 01:39 AM

I'm sorry you are dealing with this. It hurts so much when the x puts their new relationship/s above their relationship with their children. Their children's wishes go unheard.

My ex does this all the time. He has told my youngest numerous times he has 'suck it up' he needs to 'get over it'.

My heart breaks each time they do. It's so hard when you can't get involved or fix it or make it go away for them. ((cmego & kids))

cmego posted 8/5/2013 08:10 AM

Yeah, I tried to ask if "something happened with B" to see if something inappropriate DID happen. My son didn't have an answer, so I don't think so. Plus, my dd IC said she has questioned dd about anything "inappropriate" and says that she never said anything of any concern.

I don't think that is it...I think they just want their Dad to themselves sometimes.

My kids biggest misconception is that when I marry someone else, they will lose their Dad. I have discussed this ad nauseum with them.

He just doesn't get it. Why is it so fucking hard to put your kids first? Why does his penis rule his life?

I know the answer...he is incapable of acting any other way. NPD.

Kids haven't said anything else this morning and ex is silent. I'll check in with the kids again later, we have a busy day planned.

confused615 posted 8/5/2013 13:52 PM

...Tiptoeing in...

I keep up with your threads,cmego..for obvious reasons.


That's exactly what it is. Among other things.

Your little girl is very intuitive.

(((cmego and kids)))

wildbananas posted 8/5/2013 15:25 PM

I don't know what's going on, obviously, but I do know the bunch has always resented ex-asshat's love interests because they were over all. the. time. Heck, he introduced them to two of them and their kids on overnight visits. Jackass.

They feel the same way about his wife now... they are tired of seeing her all the time. She doesn't leave ex-asshat's side for a second and they resent it. The younger two don't go on visitation anymore but have said they'd much rather be around him alone and they wish he'd divorce her, already.

Sadly, I don't know what can be done about that, other than talking to him and him ignoring you yet again.

cmego posted 8/5/2013 20:56 PM

I heard my 7 year old tell ex that "he wanted a break from B" tonight on the phone. Then I heard him say, "OK, one night break will be OK." So, I'm assuming that ex said he will have B skip one day on his weekend. (what a sacrifice!). I've heard this all before. I told him in the Spring he needed to pull B back, and he did for a month or so...but then it was right back to having him around all the time.

I talked to my older child more today, and she just has the same questions, "Why did Dad marry you?" I try to explain the best I can, but encourage her to ask him. He will say something stupid like, "I fell in love with Mommy." without addressing the underlying hiding/lying/deceiving...the REASONS he chose to do what he did.

They wanted to know if I hated Dad, adn I said that it is very hard to explain. I don't want to say anything bad about him b/c he is their Dad...but I do have personal feelings about his choices.

There are days that I wonder if I really am going to survive this. There is never a break from the questions/problems/pain.

It just seems to be getting more complicated.

Kajem posted 8/6/2013 13:40 PM

Right now each new piece of information to them is like adding a piece to a jigsaw puzzle. It looks one way add another few pieces and it looks completely different. Doing this without a way to reference what it'll look like is so very difficult. I am sooo thankful your kids have you!

You are handling this situation with grace and compassion for everyone involved. Please be proud of yourself, it is hard work.



Crescita posted 8/6/2013 14:08 PM

It sounds like B and the kids are being used as emotional buffers, get them all together and he doesn’t have to be present for either relationship. It foists the burden on them to get along and he can ignore the situation and remain unaccountable.

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