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Joined: Jun 2000
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This woman has ruined my life, taken my husband, broken up my family. Daddy is pushing to introduce her to them, to move them in with him and OW 50% of the time, ASAP. He has already told them he has a livein girlfriend, and that he wants them to start staying with them.

I don't want them to like her! Isn't this natural?" How do I stay neutral about her in conversations with them? Do I have to? Can I say that I don't like her and why? Can I point out that she is the one who broke up our marriage and family? Can I say that I still love daddy and that it hurts me to have him be with her? Can I ask them if they realize thats where daddy was all those nights he was missing before he moved out? Can I ask them if they remember her from the first A, when she sucked up to them at company parties while ignoring me?
Can I point out that she left her H to be with daddy?

14 year old boy, 10 year old girl. Bright, sensitive kids who have lived in a happy loving family all of their lives, seen happy, loving parents. Now they are saying that they DO want to spend more time with daddy, so if it means that they stay at his new house with him and OW,
thats what they will do.

I want them to know the truth about this situation, without pointing blame at daddy, making them choose sides. But I don't want them to like OW, or at least I want them to know that she is the one who took daddy away and broke up our family, and draw their own conclusions about whether this is right or wrong. But maybe I don't want them to draw their own conclusions, I want them to know that this is NOT right! Its certainly not the example I want them to model their own lives by. I want my son to honor his wife and marriage, and my daughter to be treated the way a loved wife would be treated, not that its OK to be abandoned if her H finds someone he thinks is better.

How do I handle this? I don't want to badmouth H and OW, but I sure don't want them to think that I am OK with this, that I am not hurting from what was done, that its OK for OW to pursue and take my H away. What is the right way to handle this?

I am still reeling from the utter dispair of my H moving out so suddenly and losing his love overnight. Now I must also deal with his desire to share his new girlfriend with them, to create the pseudo step family situation as soon as he can get their bedrooms ready.

What am I suppose to do and say about this to my kids? Help!

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Everhopeful,

I think you should take yourself out of the equation. Forget what you want and how you feel, and think about what is best for the children long term. I'm going to tell you my opinion as the child of divorced parents who's father married his secretary.

If you ex marries this woman, will it be best for the children if they don't like her? It may be best for YOU, but it won't be best for them.

If you position OW as someone who stole your husband and broke up your family, you will be putting the children in the middle. They will feel torn. Also, it's really untrue. The OW owed you nothing, but your X owed you everything. He wasn't kidnapped and forced into an A. He went willingly.

What do the children know? Do they know Daddy's live in girlfriend was his girlfriend before you to split? If so, you can just tell them pnce that infidelity is wrong and you wish that their father had handled it differently for everyone's sake. If you also believe living together outside of wedlock is a sin, I think you should share that with the children in a specific way. "I believe that living together outside of wedlock is a sin. Your father and I appear to disagree on this point."

Don't ask them what they think about it because the very question puts children in the middle. Do be willing to listen quietly. Pretend you aren't the betrayed wife. Pretend you are the children's guardian angel.

I know you wanted to hear something very different. I wouldn't worry that the X's girlfriend is going to be looked upon with anything other than jealousy, resentment and deep suspicion for several years. It's just that I don't think it's good fro a parent to prolong those feelings. It puts the children in the middle too much.

<small>[ October 20, 2004, 10:15 AM: Message edited by: greengables ]</small>

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I also shared your feelings in wanting the children not to like the OW and would of loved for them to not want to spend time with the OW. Yes it is all so natural to feel this way. But it is the children you have to think of and this is how I have been able to handle the situation. As long as the children are happy when they are visiting that is all that should matter. I said to my children at the beginning that I didnt think it was right that daddy had chosen to live with another person and that it wasnt right for daddy to leave mummy for another woman but that is what he had chosen to do and that all that mattered was that he still loved them very much and wanted to see them. It has not been an easy task by far and at the beginning I had to put up with Ria this and Ria that but I survived and you will too. I cried alot inside but still smiled on the outside. I still have the odd moment when I feel the stab of jealously or whatever but I just think of them and am thankful that she isnt the witch she could be. I took the opportunity while the children were with their dad to do something good for myself and this has certainly helped with the healing process. I look forward to having the weekend to myself now, to do what I wish with that time. As time goes past you will forget about thw OW and concentrate on yourself.

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I don't want them to like her! Isn't this natural?"

Yes, it is natural. We ALL go through this. But do NOT say anything like this to those children! Not a word. You will only end up regretting it.

Your children will not like her. period. They want to spend more time with dad right now - very natural. OW will pour it on thick in the beginning. Candy, pop. video games, you name it. Your WH will try to protect her by telling you that she is only trying to be nice to the kids, she is not doing anything wrong. You will panic feeling like she is trying to win them over, like they will want to be with her more than you. But this just is not true.

Something my attorney told me - you want to make sure the kids feel comfortable telling you everything. You want to be able to hear the good and the bad things that happen over there. If they come home and tell you they had a good time, that OW bought them all sorts of stuff, and then you freak out, or cry, or run to your room and shut the door, they will not want to tell you anything else ever again. You have to figure out how to look neutral in front of them. You want them to feel like they can share stuff with you - but you have to lay the ground work now. Do NOT feak out. Do not try to remind them that she took their father away - they KNOW it.
The first time they see your WH show affection to someone other than their mom, they are going to be sick. It is a natural response. And they will know what is going on. Period.
You need to come up with your own phrase that you will use each time, like:
"You guys know that I love your father, and I wish things were different, but this is how they are for now. Don't forget that I am here if you need to talk."
EH - I read your post the other day, where you said that you told the kids "If dad calls tell him I love him." Please don't do that. You are putting the kids in the middle.

The next chapter will look like this: Kids will spend time with Dad and OW. Remember - I warned you, and others warned you. He was not going to wait 6 months - he is in a hurry to validate this R. So now he is still following the script. next, they will spend time with OW and may appear to "like her" for a time. That is one chapter in this saga. But it will be a short chapter. They will get tired of her always being around Dad. They will desire time alone with him. But OW will not allow it. That is when your kids will need you even more than ever. Lay the ground work now.

I am not saying that you have to appear as if you like her - or as if everything is ok. Just keep repeating "this is not the way I would like things to be, but lets make the best life we can for ourselves in spite of it"

I would suggest that you let your WH know that OW is NOT welcome at your house. It is your home - your sanctuary. He is to pick up the kids himself, and drop them of himself. Period.

But do not be afraid to let the kids go over there. I know it is scary. First time it happened to me, I was silent until they left and then I FREAKED out - big time. But let me tell you, nothing bursts their happy little bubble better than than having the kids around all weekend. Make sure they have all their nosiest stuff!

I remember my WH saying "older son needs to be at a wrestling meet at 7:00 am - what am I supposed to do about that?" I said, have him at the school by 7:00. Duh. I am sure he wanted me to say that I would pick him up, or that older son could stay with me Friday night, and I would take him in the morning, and then WH could pick him up afterwards, but to heck with that. Do NOT make things easier for you WH. If the kids have activities on the weekned give your WH a list:
1. Birthday party at 2:00
2. School carnival at 5:00
3. Son needs to work on science project.

Do not make life any easier for your WH - even though you will be tempted to do it for the sake of the kids. You will tell yourself "there is a birthday party at 2:00 - I should offer to pick son up at 1:30 and take him to the party, and then drop him of later" but don't do it. Let your WH start to truly see the life he has chosen.

And make plans for yourelf. Dinner with a friend you haven't seen in years. Trip to the mall. Church. Whatever. Plan as much stuff as you can.

One last thing - the 50% custody thing. In my opinion that does not work. Certainly not in a case where their is an A partner involved. Too much carting the kids around - not enough stabilty. I would start telling WH right now that the 50% custody thing will not work for you - or your children - and he needs to be prepared for the every other weeknd deal.

EH the reality of this siutation is that these next few months will be hard. But you will get through it. You will come out the other side, and you want your kids and their dad to be able to say "You know, it couldn't have been easy on her - but she handled it all with class."

OW will NOT handle any of this with class. These next few months will be your chance to shine. I know you will.

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I don't want them to like her! Isn't this natural?"
Yes.

How do I stay neutral about her in conversations with them?
You don’t. There should be almost nothing you discuss with your children that has to do with ow.

Can I point out that she is the one who broke up our marriage and family?
No, that was your husband. He was the one who betrayed you, not her.

Can I say that I still love daddy and that it hurts me to have him be with her?
Yes. More importantly, rather than pointing out that it is her specifically; you point out the fact that married people don’t have boyfriends/girlfriends.

I say under NO circumstances should they be allowed over there while they (h & ow) are playing house. And if they are living together (while he is still married), it is usually pretty easy to enforce that the children will not stay the night if someone of the opposite sex spends the night.

Now they are saying that they DO want to spend more time with daddy, so if it means that they stay at his new house with him and OW, thats what they will do.
They will do what the parents allow them, not what they want to do. Tell your h that they want to spend more time with him (that’s is acceptable) and they can only if ow is not around.

I want them to know the truth about this situation, without pointing blame at daddy,
You can tell them he made some mistakes as we all do, but you are still married.

But I don't want them to like OW, or at least I want them to know that she is the one who took daddy away and broke up our family
Uh, Daddy had a VERY BIG part to play in this also. She did not drag him out of oyur house and lock him into a closet so he could not be home with you.

What am I suppose to do and say about this to my kids? Help!
Be honest but they don’t need graphic details.
Also, you live your life as you would want them to (lead by example).

<small>[ October 20, 2004, 05:33 PM: Message edited by: Chris -CA123 ]</small>

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My bad, Everhopeful. I thought you were divorced. Check with your lawyer and see if you can refuse visitation while he is engaged in this kind of behavior. Maybe you could threaten to sue her for "alienation of affection."

Trust me, if you two are still married and he's setting her up in his apartment, there's going to be enough bad blood. Hey, I was 21 when I met my dad's primary OW. I called her "the mistress" for at least 2 years to my friends.


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