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Advice re: introducing AP into kids' lives

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kg201 posted 12/29/2013 19:13 PM

My WW brought her AP to Christmas dinner at her apartment with her parents and our kids. She has had dinner with the AP and the kids once before, that I am aware of. There was a series of emails to my daughter's therapist that I began since apparently the therapist told my WW this was ok. The following is part of the last one from WW to me:

She needs reassurance from both of us that AP is not replacing you and that he is another caring adult in her life. All the same people who love her are still in place just rearranged. When (daughter) and I spoke about (my new girlfriend that my daughter overheard me tell my WW about) I told her that I was happy for you because if you are happy, then her life is better. If you told (my daughter) that you are supportive of AP and it is okay with you if she is friends with him, it would really help her mental health. Can you do that?

I am wondering how others have handled the AP being introduced to the kids too early (in my opinion)? I know that I have no control over what my WW does in regards to introducing the AP into their lives, but I am trying to figure out how to process this for myself. I can't tell my 10 year old that mommy is a cheating so and so and that the AP along with my WW destroyed the family, but I will definitely not promote a relationship with the AP. I guess what galls me is the accusation that if I don't promote the relationship, then I am damaging my daughter's mental health. Thoughts? Advice?

ArkLaMiss posted 12/29/2013 19:55 PM

Uh, no. Do NOT let your x manipulate you or your daughter! Your daughter will, one day, feel betrayed that you lied to her if you do! As for the therapist, she sounds like a quack. I'd change that asap!

careerlady posted 12/29/2013 20:02 PM

Hmm my DS is still a baby and the Snake's APs are always ephemeral so not as much of an issue for me. Yet I don't think it's right to lie to your children and I feel I may tell DS the truth if he ever asks (in the most benign way possible of course). I guess you could just not say anything unless she brings it up. If she does you can say "AP makes your mom happy" and "AP will never replace me but it's ok if you want to be friends" but I wouldn't go lying. After all, if your WW really cared about DD's mental health she wouldn't have cheated

kg201 posted 12/29/2013 20:02 PM

BTW - this was my immediate response:

I am done with this email conversation. I told you I would mediate over our communication, but I will not tell anyone that the man who joined with you to destroy our family is good for any of our children. I will not promote that relationship. I will not bad mouth him, because she is too young to know the truth, but I will not lie and say that I am supportive of your affair partner. You must be joking.

tryingagain74 posted 12/29/2013 20:48 PM

I have told my kids (ages 9, 7, and 5) why their dad and I divorced in age-appropriate terms. They know why their stepmother and I will never, ever be friends and why their father and I keep our distance from one another. My kids are very perceptive. I kept mum about it for as long as I could until my eldest started putting the pieces together. His counselor also told me that I should answer any direct questions honestly, so that's exactly what I've been doing.

I don't call either of them names or discourage my children from having a relationship with them. But, they need to know why I stay as far away as possible from their father and stepmother, and they also need to see that their father's actions had consequences. When you have an affair, a consequence may be that your spouse divorces you and no longer considers you a friend. I think I'm sending my children a very important message about honesty and self-respect. They can see that they don't have to put up with being treated like that in their future relationships, and they know that they can come to me and get the truth. There is no way that I would ever condone XWH and the AP's relationship-- I simply tell my kids that they should be polite to their stepfamily and do their best to get along because that is what I would expect my children to do in every social situation. No hearts and butterflies over the AP here; that will never happen.

In the future, stick to NC. Not that your message was horrible, but your WW doesn't deserve anything but crickets when she sends you stupid requests like that.

PurpleRose posted 12/29/2013 20:55 PM

Sorry but I feel that promoting that "relationship" would be more detrimental to your child's mental health!

My kids know all about the whore. They are 22, 13, and 10. They know who she is, what she is, and exactly why she will NEVER ever be someone I want them to be around. Kids are smart and perceptive. If you lie to your daughter she will pick up on that. Tell her the truth. You can't go wrong with the truth.

Pass posted 12/29/2013 22:26 PM

The Princess is currently with a guy (Rig Pig) who she didn't even know when we were together. He gave my boys nice xmas presents. I am trying my best not to hate him - but of course I hate him.

My boys have no idea that their mom was a lying, cheating misery. Well ... they are finding out she is a misery.

I have told them both that it is okay for them to enjoy when Rig Pig hangs out with the three of them, and that they shouldn't feel like they are hurting me by doing so. 13 especially is very protective of me, so I know that he needs to have his possible feelings of guilt assuaged. That's what is most important to me.

I would have a much harder time keeping this attitude if Rig Pig were one of her fucks while we were together.

roughroadahead posted 12/29/2013 23:48 PM

The kids seem to stay at OW's house every weekend he is with them. His work schedule is now such that he can't spend much time with her on my weekends. Anyway, they are aware that she and I are not friends, but I tell them it is ok if they like her. She is very superficially nice to them, which I suppose is a small mercy. They seem to be getting tired of so many sleepovers at her house, but that isn't something I can control.

My kids are young, the autism means they are largely oblivious to different types of relationships. They haven't asked any questions. My oldest son's psychologist said to be honest in answering the questions he does have, but not to have any kind of talk with him where I tell him what happened without him asking. I hate that she's around them that much, but there's nothing I can do.

[This message edited by roughroadahead at 11:49 PM, December 29th (Sunday)]

newlysingle posted 12/29/2013 23:57 PM

I was honest with my DD about the AP and XWH. I told her that they both did things that really hurt my feelings and hurt our family. Because of that AP would never, ever be my friend or would be allowed at my home. However, I told her that it was okay for her to have a friendship with AP if she wished. I did not want to put her in a position where she would have to choose, but wanted her to know why I don't like the whore or her dad.

Abbondad posted 12/30/2013 07:41 AM

Same situation here. While I have no doubt that my STBX's relationship with OM will not last (even now she wants to come back, essentially "cheating" on the OM with me!), for now she has inserted him into our kids' lives.

I don't know this guy, but my kids seem to like him and by all accounts from my son he is nice to them. (I've never met him.) My hatred for him is diminishing a bit as I realize he's just a sucker for my wife's NPD charms, as I was. It could have been anyone. He is nothing special.

In any case, my kids' emotional well being is paramount. My DD (six) is too young to be aware of who this guy is and the genesis of her mom's relationship, but my DS (nine) is aware and is struggling with it. I have told him (in age appropriate terms) what his mom did and who this guy is. What concerns my son the most, it seems, is that I am "OK." I have assured him that I am--that as long as OM is kind to him, that I will be OK.

Yes, I have to swallow a lot of bile when I have these talks with him when he returns from OM's, but there is nothing I can do. My children need as little emotional turmoil as possible.

While my STBX has not talked to me about the OM (she is so stupid she still thinks I don't know the kids sleep over at his place), I have nevertheless done my best to assure them that nothing is their fault, everyone loves them, and that I am fine.

These are bitter pills to swallow, and I struggle as well, but I think this is all we can do. It's part of the destructive narrative our WWs have created. We have to be the best "editors" we can.

SBB posted 12/30/2013 08:25 AM

I got the same bullshit spiel but he didn't dare ask me to give OWUmpteen a bloody referral.

This is all part of their idiotic thought processes that tell them that what they have done/are doing is OK. Oh, and that they are 'happy'. Nevermind their version of happy is about as sad and fucked up as you could be, Unicorn Sparkle Farts aside.

The thing is you WOULD be happy about a new partner if she wasn't still a fucked up POS on top of the AP being a fucked up POS. Maybe not now because it is still fresh but in time you will.

I still have hope that the sad clown sorts out his shit because if he is healthy then THAT is what would be fantastic for my girls' mental health.

How is him having a child-whore or a girlfriend good for their mental health/

No. Don't smack talk the X or AP or put your kids in the middle of a tug of war. Don't use them as weapons. That is all you need to do here. That other shit is just bat-shit-crazy.

Like other posters have said I answer questions honestly in an age-appropriate way when asked.

He broke a promise that married people are not allowed to break. He and I are no longer friends and never will be (we have a few books they love to read, one is called "When My Parents Forgot To Be Friends", another is "Dinosaur Divorce" and "Two Homes"). I know her but I am not friends with her and never will be. I don't mind if they like her and it doesn't change anything between me and them.

It was hard at first as it nearly killed me to hear her name coming out of my babies mouths but I realised they noticed my bristling. So I focussed on changing that. I faked it till I made it. I'm not bothered by it anymore but I try to ask about the 'them' in the stories rather than about him or her, IYKWIM?

The only thing worse than that whore or the future whore iterations being around my girls is the thought of someone being unkind to them.

If you don't tell them anything they will fill in the blanks and those blanks are almost always that it is their fault in some way.

I'm choking on this shit sandwich too.

kg201 posted 12/30/2013 09:46 AM

Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts and stories. I am appreciative of how hard it is to tell your kids that it is ok to be friends with the idiot who helped break up the family. I hope I can get there, because I'm not there. I liked this by Abbondad:

We have to be the best "editors" we can.

It is a good reminder that there is a reality that we have been thrust into and the best we can do is edit the story so that our kids can understand it.

This morning's crazy email in the string from WW was that she can't possibly meet with the therapist and me, because being near me would just make her sicker (she has the flu). Classy.

Thanks everyone. Happy New Year.

[This message edited by kg201 at 9:48 AM, December 30th (Monday)]

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