I am a divorced mother. My relation with my former husband is good after our divorce. The children stay with me during the weeks, and with him during the weekends. But his new girlfriend wants to forbid the children from phoning him, when they stay with me. Is this right? Would not the effects of divorce on children be less if the children are allowed to talk to their parents whenever they want?
It is best for the children if they are allowed to call
their parents when they want and feel a need for this.
Knowing they can do this will make them more secure. It is
your husband's new girlfriend, not the children, who is not
happy with these phone calls. Her highest priority is not
the welfare of your children, her highest priority is to
secure her position with your ex. She is going to see to
her own interest, since she is insecure and may be jealous
of both you and the children.
You have arrived at a new phase in your divorce: a power
struggle between you and your ex's new girlfriend, and
between her and the children, for the support and favours
of your ex. The strongest person sets the agenda. If your
husband is deeply in love with her, then it will not be
easy for him to set limits, and he will put her needs
before the children. Women have effective tools for getting
their way with men.
You are worried, because your ex's new girlfriend does not
see things the way you would like her to. She, on the other
hand, sees you as a threat and a problem. She may want
children of her own. She may not want your children to
inherit from him to the detriment of hers. She may prefer to
have your ex to herself without the children. She certainly
does not want you and your ex to have a close relation.
Every time you talk to your ex about the children, she will
be upset. If the children can call him whenever they
want, she will be uneasy and never be left in peace with
her beloved. If it were possible, she would prefer to spirit
away you and the children.
What can you do? You will have to accept that the balance
of power has changed, and that the welfare of your children
will not any more be of highest priority to him. In this
new situation, you have to be sensible and mature. Maybe
the new woman would feel less threatened and excluded if
you talked to her, rather than to your ex. Even when you
talk to your ex, she may be in the background directing the
communication. If you talk directly to her, she may feel
more secure and in control. In such talks to her, you have
to be supportive and understanding, not critical and
Would it be possible for your ex and the children to call
you at times when she is occupied with something else, such
as showering or shopping? Maybe she would not be so
disturbed by such phone calls if she is not directly
confronted by them?