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When your kid(s) have to be around the AP

Katz13 posted 7/25/2020 21:05 PM

How do you stay sane when your kids have to spend time with your ex and the AP? It is bad enough that the cheating SOB ex has to see his kid but that my kid will build a relationship with the OW is unbearable.

I'm trying hard not to bash anyone around my kid. I feel like this is showing my kid that it is ok to lie, cheat etc and hang out with this new couple and all is fun and laughs.

Suggestions from those in similar situations appreciated.

thatbpguy posted 7/25/2020 21:46 PM

A few thoughts....

First, in these types of situations, it is inevitable that the AP will be with your children. It stings, but as there isn't anything you can really do about it, then I suggest developing coping mechanisms to best accept it.

Second, kids love their parents. Who knows if the AP will try to buy or manipulate their love. But at the end of the day, it's what none and dad do (or don't do) that matters most- and always will.

Just be a loving parent and you will be loved back. And as time goes along kids always gravitate to the parent who love the most.

homewrecked2011 posted 7/25/2020 22:29 PM

I really struggled with this, bc OW was known to flirt with teen boys. I was beside myself with worry. I took the advice of SI and many friends. I got busy. I used my time to join the Y and swim. I cleaned the house. I also NEVER gave up my parenting time-xh always had fabulous things planned-on my weekends! I was not about to get things confused. Also, I didnít have much $$ so on top of the kids being stuck with me, their Dadís plans were so much more thrilling-but remember it was only on my weekends-he did nothing fun with them on his weekends. Then they realized he only wanted them around when OW had her son-so OW and xh could pawn her son off on my kids.....

At first she tried to be so awesome, like best person of the world. But then she and xh wanted to do stuff when her son wasnít around, so they blew off my kids-made excuses to not get them, or only get them when they had her son.

Then, something happened-xh started not seeing our kids, not getting them. It absolutely broke me inside. He didnít go to any sports events, band stuff, etc. this was much worse than them being with xh/ow. My youngest has been permanently scarred by being dumped by his Dad-his best friend. Especially when his Dad was taking OWs kids to b-ball practice!

So, honestly if your xh gets your kids, itís better for them than when he stops.

Sunday nights were really the worst for them. I think it was coming home and having to process just how f****d up this was.....

So, I just stayed very steady thru this, for my kids. I never spoke bad of XH or OW. And I refuse to speak to OW, bc I donít speak to garbage. They tried to tell my kids that I should grow up and be friends with them. I just said, ďnah, thatís okĒ.

I just always acted like I was happy.
I knew sooner or later ow and xh would start fighting.
and they fight all the time, I hear.

My kids rarely go there- now 23 & 20. They thank me for always supporting and backing them on their interests. ❤️
I think they will try to have a peaceful home like I provided.

Anna123 posted 7/26/2020 13:29 PM

I am fortunate in that my ex married someone other than his AP but there was a time when they were still dating that son had spent time with her on numerous occasions.

I did the same as Homewrecked and kept up a happy front. I actually was happy ex still was involved for sons sake. I could tell my son was awkward about it so I told him that although I don't respect OW for what she has done, as long as she treats him (son) well I am happy. And I asked him to make sure he lets me know if that ever isn't the case. He knew who the final person was backing him up if anything else caved in. She is long gone (maybe) now. He has been doing great so so far, so good.

Side bar, I find it funny that when ex first married, sons cloths always came home perfectly washed and folded. Underwear even. Wow, I actually felt like I didn't match up since I don't fold his underwear. Sure enough, I now just get a stuffed bag of dirty clothes back:-) I still continue to do his laundry just like I have for the past 16 years - I know, I need to teach him to do his own ---)

Gottagetthrough posted 7/26/2020 14:52 PM

I told my DD that ow was a bad person and she didnít have the morals that we do. I didnít do it every day or even often, but I did it when she would talk about ow and say ďmiss ow did thisĒ. Or ďmiss ow bought me that. ď

She was 4-5 years old when exposed to her

Iím glad every day that I did. Ow is a horrible person and emotionally abused dd at the end of the affair. A 5 year old. Ow is the worst

[This message edited by Gottagetthrough at 2:55 PM, July 26th (Sunday)]

Gemini71 posted 7/26/2020 16:38 PM

My Ex didn't marry AP, but it still hurt like hell when he remarried. I made it a point never to ask about Ex or New W. I just greet the kids with a big smile, ask them if they had a good time, listen to their stories, and move on.

If you're worried about them picking up bad habits, make sure you're clear about the rules at your house. If they say "Dad and OW let me xyz" point out that you are not Dad or OW, and that you don't allow xyz, and while you can't control what Dad and OW allow, you hope DD or DS would not do xyz anywhere because morals, ethics, golden rule, etc. Kids actually do listen to what we say.

I have found in the past 5 years that I am much more concerned about how Ex and New W treat my DSs. Luckily New W is good to them, or I would go all Mama Bear on her.

homewrecked2011 posted 7/26/2020 22:19 PM

Also, donít be afraid to hold your ground when necessary. XH would not bring DS home after visitation. I grabbed my D papers and the police met me around the corner. They went up to the door and asked for my child. OW was screaming at the police- it was pretty funny to watch her fall apart.

Another time I was off work in the summer and xh left my son (10) at home to babysit OWís 7 year old AND they were told they could swim!!!! I calmly emailed xh and told him he better go home, get my child, or I was calling his atty and the police. -this is where first right of refusal helps tremendously.,

Hawke posted 7/27/2020 17:43 PM

You stay sane by remembering that your kids are your number one priority and that ex and OW don't matter at all, except insofar as they treat your kids.

After a while, it hurts less, although there might be events or instances that hurt more. And then less. And finally one day (for me, about 4 years later) you realize that don't really care anymore. It's one of the shittier sandwiches, but not the worst.

It is probably difficult for you to believe right now, but I'm glad that my kids have a decent relationship with OW because it would be far, far worse if she were unkind or abusive. My kids were 4 and 1 when we separated, so very young, but they know that I'm their mom and OW will never be that. Ex and OW may break up tomorrow or be together for another 30 years, and it doesn't matter to me as long as they treat my kids well.

When asked, I'm honest with my kids about how the relationship ended, but they really are not very curious. That may change as they get into the teen years.

Anna123 posted 7/29/2020 07:48 AM

It is probably difficult for you to believe right now, but I'm glad that my kids have a decent relationship with OW because it would be far, far worse if she were unkind or abusive.

Ditto on the part that it is worse if they are unkind or abusive. I have a friend whose children hated going to the Dad's because of the OW. I find myself actually being grateful this new wife in a few various ways.

I was like you as far as picturing any other woman at all even being involved unbearable but we BS's are very resilient. I am with you on the appearance that it teaches cheating is okay, but Dad cheated anyway. Your kid sees that result whether OW is involved, or someone else down the line. That is just a fact now and we can't get away from it. I just pray my son sees it clearly as he grows and never does this to anyone else, nor allows it in his life.

suckstobeme posted 7/30/2020 07:40 AM

Iím one of those who had to put up with an OW who was not good to my kids, especially my DS. She has her own kids and wanted hers to be the most important. As long as all the kids played together and stayed out of her hair, she was fine. But when DS started wanting to be with his father more than the three girls, it cramped her plans. She would tell DS that his father had enough of him and that he needed some ďadult timeĒ during the visitations. She started to resent DS so much that she would find anything she could to criticize him. All the kids did chores on Saturday and my son got to clean the toilet. That was his job. Everyone else dusted or emptied the dishwasher. He cleaned the toilet. I donít even want to explain how I threatened her and told my exWh that if I got hold of her, I would rip her f-ing head off. Even though DS was in counseling, he became so anxious and upset after having to put up with her bullshit that he decided a few years ago never to go to his fatherís house again. And he hasnít. That didnít stop exWh from marrying her though so the whole thing has caused problems with the kids and their dad. DS would get hurt and angry when his father would forgo time together because he had other plans at his house. My DD and DS fight over the fact that he doesnít go there anymore. My DD fights with her father and canít understand why he chose to marry someone who doesnít want to be good to his kids. My DD fights with OWís kids because they love to rub in her face how close they are with him. And guess who gets to listen to all of it? Me. I get to put up with all of this residual crap because OW decided to fuck around with a guy with two kids that she wants him to throw away. Itís like a life sentence. As long as heís with her - itís been 10 years and counting so I donít anticipate a break up anytime soon - there will be tension and jealousy and bullshit.

In retrospect, I would rather that she treated them well. Donít get me wrong, I would have hated it. But I would have been the only one hurt in that scenario. Here, everyone is hurt and my kids didnít ask for it and they donít deserve it.

Westway posted 7/30/2020 08:34 AM

The AP is a shit person, and your kids will come to see that. Just be the best mom you can be and you will prevail.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 7/30/2020 10:42 AM

1000 times this:

You stay sane by remembering that your kids are your number one priority and that ex and OW don't matter at all, except insofar as they treat your kids.

I am the BS in my own marriage, and my own mother was the AP in what became her second marriage after she and my dad divorced, and my half-sibling is the child of that affair. And this post below, like everything in life, isn't really accurate - and certainly not 100% of the time.

The AP is a shit person, and your kids will come to see that. Just be the best mom you can be and you will prevail.

The AP (my step-father) was not a "shit person" to me - his step child, nor to any of my siblings. Had their marriage not been the result of an A, he would be the guy you hope your ex-wife married, for the sake of your kids. My step-dad was/is great to us so maybe it brings me a bit more perspective in dealing with an AP in general - IDK. My Dad has even said as much about my step-father, so don't worry for worrying's sake about the AP - just watch and look for issues with your kids and them and be thankful if there aren't any.

Sometimes your kids will see people for who they are. I overdosed on drugs when I was a teen - was hospitalized for a long time. I'm sure glad I'm not seen as a drug addict today. People change. The AP can change too. I'm not saying it will happen but it can happen - and for your kids sake you should hope that it does.

You have to be careful, or what people can see is an angry, vengeful parent who is trying to get their kids to "take sides" and I am so glad my parents didn't go down that path. What a horrible thing to have to deal with as a kid. The only way to "prevail" as a parent is when your kids are as happy and well-adjusted as possible.

I love the first sentence and hate the second of this:

Just be a loving parent and you will be loved back. And as time goes along kids always gravitate to the parent who love the most.

I'm also sorry to say but sentence 2 above is just BS fantasy-land. It's what we tell ourselves to feel better - akin to when it's pouring rain on your outdoor wedding and people tell you "oh, it's good luck to have rain on a wedding." No, I'm here to tell you, it's not. It's just untruth's people tell you to make you feel better when things are shitty. It rained on my wedding day and it certainly wasn't very lucky for me. You don't/can't win a love-war, because there is no winning that, especially for your kids.

Not only do I not "love" one of my parents more than the other (and yeah there was an A involved) - you don't want that conflict for your children. You chose to have kids, so all you can hope for now is that although your WH and the AP acted like pieces of garbage to you, that they do NOT do that with your kids. This isn't about you now - it's only about your kids (and I KNOW that is easier said than done).

If you are lucky, the AP and your WH will be great to your kids...which is what happened to me as a child.

I lived the life growing up you are worried about for your kids and it wasn't a bad one: My Mom (3 years post-divorce from my Dad) had an A with a married man, so she was the OW and got pregnant with his child while he was still married. Ultimately he divorced his BS and married my mom and we moved in with him and his 2 kids from the prior marriage. He and my Mom are still together after 35 years (not happily all the time - but that is for another post) and my half-sibling is the child of the affair and we all lived together during jr high/high school. It was difficult but I will say that my mom and her husband/former affair partner/and my step-dad were really great to us kids, and I never ever ever heard either of them say anything bad about his former-BS (until I was much older - it turned out she had a substance abuse problem and she was in rehab - I never knew she had any problems as no one ever said a word about it to me as a kid).

My step-dad (yeah, the former WH who had an A with my mom) has always been a really awesome guy to me and my sister - to all of us. There has never been a question of that in the 35+ years he has been in my life. My mom, his ex - their issues - have not been ours, and for that I'm grateful. In fact, I get along a lot better with him than my own mother - because of his personality really. There is no loss of love for all of them. So I know the BS thought process about the AP can be fantasy because I've lived that life, as have my step-siblings and my half-sibling, and at least in my own case it's not the fantasy-horror show that the vengeful angry part of us sometimes want it to be.

I gravitate to my Dad not because he is "morally superior" to my mom or because he "loves me the most" as honestly I haven't a clue what that even means or how I would measure that. It is because we have more in common and get along well and in all honestly because my Dad never remarried so he had more time for me. When I was younger I gravitated towards neither of them - I was 100% about my friends. My sister is definitely closer now with my Mom - when she was younger she was closer to my Dad.

It's not a contest - you WANT your kids to be happy - so hopefully they will be happy wherever they are.

[This message edited by ThisIsSoLonely at 12:53 PM, July 31st (Friday)]

ThisIsSoLonely posted 7/30/2020 10:57 AM

I guess to summarize my post - let go of the anger about the AP and hope they do right by your kids - so your kids are happy and well-adjusted. Hanging onto that isn't doing them (or likely you) any favors in the long run.

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