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Question
Posted by: Worrypot | 2005/06/30

Dad's example

I'm in a second marriage and my two teenage children (15 & 13) see their dad every second weekend. Their dad was married again for 5 years, had an affair with a colleague and got divorced, has been single for 18 months now.

The woman he had an affair with, is seriously disturbed. She sent my daughter sexually explicit sms'es, drinks excessively when they're there, swears, walks around all day in a negligee, and during their last holiday together, they had sex in front of my children. I took the children for counselling, lots of heartache, time, effort and money. The psychologist told my ex in no uncertain terms that he's a bad example to his children, that this woman has serious issues and can't sustain a normal relationship. She had 4 affairs that we know of during her first marriage. She also continually threatens suicide, has taken pills while my kids were there, once ran to the bathroom to get the razor because my kids were offish to her etc. etc.

My problem is this. My ex broke up with her 4 times already, moved in and out within 6 weeks, and the last time they broke up, he went as far as to tell our children that she cheated on him, that she drinks herself into a stupor every night and he must carry her to bed, that she doesn't brush her teeth before going to bed, and that she stinks. Guess what? He's back with her.

My husband says I must let the children sort it out themselves, if they don't want to see her, they can always phone me and I'll fetch them from their dad, but I feel I need to put a stop to my children being exposed to her and tell my ex beforehand.

The problem is, every time he's back with her, he sends me extremely nasty e-mails and letters about what a "tart" I was (before I met him), he also tells the children lies about me, and I fear another onslaught of filth from him. However, when they're separated, he cannot be friendly enough with me. How I wish my children never need to see him again.

Should I just leave it and allow my children to handle it their own way as my husband suggests?

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Our expert says:
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Maybe you should see a lawyer and revisit the terms of custody and visits --- there is no good reason why the children should be required to visit a dad who is so stupid as to remain involved with such a highly disturbed and dysfunctional woman. As usual, Purple makes sense, and you should indeed apply for sole custody of the kids, with him still required to pay maintenance.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Worrypot | 2005/07/01

Thank you for all your advice. I had a chat to my children, and they both feel I shouldn't "interfere" and that they will handle it when they're there (I'm not at all happy with this). They will tell their father that they don't want to see her again, and if he insists, they'll phone me and I'll fetch them.

I don't blame this woman for her behaviour, I blame my ex for exposing my children to her. It is his responsibility to protect his children, from her and others like her, and sadly also from himself. But he'll never see it.

Reply to Worrypot
Posted by: Purple | 2005/06/30

I would apply for sole custody of the children (he will still have to pay maintenance even if he doesn't have custody).

Your children are at an impressionable age and as an adult, your ex husband should know that his and his new girlfriends behaviour are not acceptable around the children.

Consult a lawyer and see how you can go about limiting his access to the children within the law during the interim. Perhaps supervised visits with a social worker would be a temporary solution.

Also, sit with your teens and explain that their father seems be having problems dealing with his relationship with them in a normal manner, that his behaviour around them is unacceptable and that his girlfriends behaviour is far worse and that she obviously doesn't have the mental capacity to function as an adult.

I hardly think your ex husband is capable of making valid suggestions on the matter as he is part of the problem.

I hope things get sorted out.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: ec | 2005/06/30

i wouldn't let the children anywhere near these people!!

Reply to ec
Posted by: Lara | 2005/06/30

I agree with Jordan , keep the kids away from him until he has sorted out his life. And if he wants to see them, let him see them at your house or take them out somewhere where she is not in the picture.
I dont think its good for the kids to see things like that. And they are only kids i dont think they can handle it on their own.
Rather keep them away from situations like those.
And dont let him get you down, his life is empty and now he is trying to make yours bad as well, just laugh it off!
Good luck!

Reply to Lara
Posted by: Jordan | 2005/06/30

Wow. Well I certainly would not let my children go there. If he wants to see them let him come to you house without her. There is enough filth in this world, you don't want your children to still have to grow up with it in their home. Or you could explain to your children how immature her behaviour is and to just ignore her when they are there, but she sounds truly demented. Also, if she is drinking around the children you never know what she could be capable of. Tell your ex that once his relationship with her is more stable and the environment is healthier, then he can have his kids over, until then I would suggest that you keep them away from there.
Good Luck.

Reply to Jordan

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