My divorce became final just this last week. I left my ex after 12 years together. The first year he pursued for reconciliation. The second has been focused on acceptance and understanding.We have both moved on positively.. We have two children 8 and 5 years old. My ex and I have an excellent friendship and parenting objective. We actively stay in communication about the kids and help each other out if needed. I have a wonderful Fiance and a daughter who is now 1 year old. We actively go to family counseling to insure and help with blending issue. This has been extremely positive for our family. My Fiance is very supportive and has even commented on how well my ex and I work together.
With the divorce, my ex and I said that we did not want to play the role of the "normal" divorce parents. We were willing to communicate, open door policy, with regard to the kids emotional well being. We have done excellent. We share the trouble and the happiness and I have felt that our friendship has helped the kids adjust to the change. We have explained to them that Daddy and I are friends and will always do what we need to do together to be there for them.
This was an exceptional situation. Any counselor, friend or family member has gone out of there way to say that the relationship we have maintained is the best support for the kids and if it works well than we are the luckiest people to have found it.
My kids are with me M-F and go every weekend F (night) to Sunday afternoon to their father. We have over the last two years of separation brought a philosophy forward that the kids stay as in touch with Daddy as much as possible so they can share what's happened in the day with them and this allows him to stay connected to them. The same goes for me during the weekend. This makes them feel they are not without him/me or that we are too far from their everyday happenings in their life. Each morning we call on our way to school to say good morning, at bedtime they call to say goodnight and sometimes through the day if something special has happened at school they call to tell him. This has been an established pattern that has worked well on both sides. I welcome them to call Daddy anytime they are with me and he does the same. We both are not bothered by the call, but support it.
My ex recently has become involved with a woman at work who is going through divorce and has now become his girlfriend. We have actively tried to work together to help the kids transition into this so they feel no "pull" or sadness with this new member of the family. This lady is someone he is planning a future with. She is 32, been married for 14 years and has no children. She is adjusting to the change in family lifestyle with kids involved. She gets put off very easily if he is having a conversation with me on the phone and has said that his relationship with between him and me is not OK. We are both moving forward and do not hold any feelings of future reconcilement and he has told her so. There have been some major bumps in this transition phase. She is going through an "emotional crisis" with her divorce and needs to feel a secure devotion from my ex for security purposes. She has caused some problems where the kids are concerned. There have been a few events in which he has either committed time to her or the children and has had to let one of them down. He is trying to be more structured and learn from the past and schedule things so that these conflicts do not arise.
Recently she has suggested "that the frequency in calls from the children and the schedule calls for good morning and goodnight are possibly not good for the children". My ex wrote to inquire about what she questioned as something "abnormal and never been seen before" in regard to the calls. I think she is feeling displaced and do not want to promote any anxiety in the situation but I am fearful that this suggestion of limiting their contact to him is a dangerous suggestion. He listened to her suggestion and wrote to a counselor on the web. The counselor wrote back saying the schedule of calls is "abnormal or uncommon." I need help here to understand how something positive that has arisen out of a negative situation (Divorce) is something to consider as abnormal. We are not cut from the mainstream thinking of most divorced couples. We have always had different ideas on family, children and friendship. I'm not saying that my kids didn't experience the sadness, confusion and anger that results from a divorce, but I am saying that our kids have two parents that love them, are willing to work together to help the other parent stay involved with the kids and are more concerned about the effects of the divorce than on the normal way that has been recently suggested i.e calls should be limited when time is being spent with the other parent.
I am scared that this "abnormal" behavior that was tagged by a counselor on the web might cause some major problems for the children..I am also scared that I could be wrong and in fact possibly hurting the children. It feels awful inside to think of telling my children that they can't call their dad knowing that the calls are happily received on his side when the girlfriend is not around. I am in full understanding that her additional problems with his relationship to me is threatening to her and we have come to some agreements about limiting our conversations when she is there. My thoughts are that security in their relationship will only come from within her knowing and believing that he is committed to her and that contact with me should not be an insecurity. I want my children to have a positive relationship with her. This is what is best for them. Her suggestion of limiting, stopping calls from two small hearts and minds that miss their daddy is so upsetting to me. Considering, she has no children, does not understand the commitment to them and is willing to try to change something that works well for them doesn't sound positive.
If I am told that this "abnormal" behavior can negatively affect the children I will consider this and do more research to find the best solution for the children. I am open to listening and change if there is possible negative results from the staying in touch. I am looking to get advice from a neutral party.
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?
To live in a step-family can be painful for all involved
partners, and requires a maturity and responsibility which
everyone does not have. The problems cannot be resolved by
asking what is best for the children. The problems can only
be solved by understanding the needs and interests of all
parties, also your ex's new girlfriend. To make her secure
may also be better for your children. Unsolved conflicts can
be damaging to all, even the children.
Let your husband move on in his relationship and explain to your kids that their dad needs some time to "bond" with this person. Maybe your communication should only be through his girlfriend. Give her the respect to be included. You already rejected him, now let him go. Tough on the kids, but that was your decision.
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Today's date: Sat, 25 May 2013 23:46:21 +0200