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Can anyone give me advice on what to do??!!

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Schlomo78 | 14:36 Fri 25th Nov 2005 | Parenting
9 Answers
I'm totally at a loss here&would like to hear views from people who have children-heres the deal.....I have been with my boyfriend 3months(seems like nothing I know)but are thinking v seriously of moving in together&getting engaged which we are both aware is a big step.He has a 5yr old daughter from a previous girlfriend who finished with him before the child was born.He sees his daughter regularly&always has done,the first2yrs every weekend&since then every other weekend although they live the other end (literally) of the country.The trouble is the ex has a problem with him seeing anyone&creates every time he has had a girlfriend although she herself has been practically living with someone 4yrs who has now split up with her.She wants constant control of his actions,says he doesn't see his daughter enough&when she doesn't get her own way she uses the child.She has been treating him as if he is her other boyfriend for5yrs&is now being as difficult as possible to try&create trouble between us.He wants me to go with him next time he visits&introduce me as his 'friend',not girlfriend or anything which i am fine with,but the ex will not let him and is saying to his daughter that Daddy doesn't love her anymore 'cos he loves his new girlfriend etc.His daughter knows he loves her but I'm worried this will affect her&am loathe to cause problems in an innocent childs life.Basically the ex wants him to herself when he is there&cannot accept he has a life outside her.Not having children myself&coming from a 'broken home' I have issues&insecurities because of it&really do not want to put his daughter in anywhere near the same situation as i have been in..Using children to get what you want is sick&wrong&I have been having sleepless nights because of what she is doing to get what she wants,but feel as if it is indirectly my fault because he is with me.Help??!!!Cheers.Sorry to go on....


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It sounds as if this woman is very possessive and can't really accept that the former relationship is over. It also sounds as if she's not very good at living on her own and needs to have a man in the background now she has been ditched.

Having watched a similar situation unravel recently because of almost identical issues, I would be tempted to suggest that to avoid trouble, your boyfriend maintains a large discretionary silence about his relationship with you and refuses even to discuss it with his wife on the grounds that his current friendships no longer have any relevance to his ex. Obviously this will be difficult if you move in together and he brings his daughter home because she will talk about you to her mother. But it seems to me that the more aware of your existence his ex becomes, the more difficult she will be in trying to separate father and daughter.. You and your boyfriend will have to decide whether your relationship is strong enough to survive all this emotional blackmail. Until his daughter is old enough to make her own decisions about spending time with her father, her mother will undoubtedly have a strong influence on her, possibly poisoning her mind against her father and the way he now lives his life. Can you live with this and the fact that it will always be a niggling issue in your relationship together?

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Thanks Wendy,I think you've pretty much hit the nail on the head,she is afraid of being alone and left with 3 children(2from a previous marriage),although my boyfriend has always tried to treat them equally as when her first husband divorced her he would have absolutely nothing to do with her and ultimately the(2)children and still won't.You would think that seeing this has happened to her before she would be desperate not to put her kids through any more heartache than is neccessary,but it appears she is out for herself and will go through any means possible to get what she wants when she wants it.The thing I don't understand is that it was she who left him and he tried to rebuild the relationship before/after his daughter was born but she had no interest.It seems to be a case of 'I don't want you.,but I don't want anyone else to have you'.His thoughts at telling her and involving me is in that she will have to get over it and accept that he is entitled to have a life too,as she has been...unfortunately I see your point in that she seems to have no morals and will poison her daughter against him to get what she wants.i am hoping this won't happen,but my own mother did the same to me,and although I know and always have done that I mean the world to my father it still has created great issues and insecurities in me.I really do not want to put any child through that.As they weren't married he has no parental responsibility over his daughter and I think that is something he needs to give thought to,as she can do pretty much what she likes until he has it.I do see what you mean about keeping silent about me as such as it is his life and it really has nothing at all to do with her what he does as long as it does not affect his daughter.Thanks again.:O)
This is a very difficult situation and I wish you luck! These sorts of things can be so destructive and your boyfriend is trying to keep everyone happy which in this case is almost impossible. I notice you seem to go up to where they are .. would it not be possible to bring her down to you and keep you out of the picture as much as possible? I suppose the only other thing you could do would be to try and genuinely get to the bottom of her fears and befriend her and show her that you can be an asset to her by helping to share the burden of caring for all the children on her own by perhaps developing some sort of relationship with the other two. I know that sounds impossible now but you never know! I had some conflicing feelings when my husband's partner got pregnant (although we were separated) but last week the daughter of that marriage attended my daughter's graduation with me and my ex husband and we all got on famously - so there is hope, but it takes time, and you may feel too resentful at her behaviour or she may be unreachable. Best of luck

Personally, I think it is no concern of the former girlfriend what your man does or who he sees in his own life. However, if I were the ex, I would need to be comfortable that my child was being well looked after by the current girlfriend, if she was spending weekends with them.

It does seems however, that the ex is playing mind games. It may help to pre-think the type of rubbish that she may feed the little girl. For example, as you said, she has said that "Daddy wont love you as he has his own girlfriend now..." You could say to the little girl .."No matter what anybody says, Daddy has a special love for you that will never alter, no matter what!" There are other things you could think of that a mind-warped mother may say to her child, so think hard and answer theses questions before they arise! Good luck!

ps. Perhaps you should wait a few months more though before moving in?

Controlling ex's are bad enough and when there is a child involved who they have no qualms in using to their own ends it makes things even more difficult.

If you have an idyllic relationship and this is the only problem area then you may both be able to pull together and make it work.

But, you will both need to be totally on the same side and united in your aims. The ex should not have any control your man. As long as he is satisfied that you are a good person to look after his child and you sound very caring then that should be good enough.

Unfortunately I know from bitter experience that a certain type of person seems to find it impossible to let go of the control they had over a person.

I dont think anything other than the child should be discussed between the two of them. His choice of partner is not her business to discuss and should not be subject to her control. Until he makes a conscious decision about this and follows it through I dont think anything will change.

He is letting her do this and she is deliberately using his understandable fears about his child to keep messing with his life.

He is going to have huge guilt issues and because you are a decent person so will you, but ultimately its her mother who will do any damage not you two. Remember you are not really the issue here - any woman would be a threat. If he loves you then help him overcome this huge problem in his life. Otherwise what is he to do? Stay single till his daughter is 18?

Keep talking to each other - do not enter into discussions, arguments with her. Keep things at your end calm and 'normal' for the child.

Best of luck. x
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Thanks to everyone for their views, all I can do is the best I can,and it's true,if it wasn't me then he would be with someone else eventually and the same situations would arise.There has been even more trouble since I posted last and it doesn't look like its going to stop any time soon.Such is life I guess,she will not split us up whatever she does,and this is the only problem in our relationship so i'm sure it will be worked through in time,although that doesn't make it any easier.She is still trying to alienate the little girl from him and is now buying her lots of things,'buying her love' I guess.It transpires that when my boyfriend and the mother were together she introduced him to her other children the very next day which to me is not ideal and shows she is not the cautious type...also she introduced her ex boyfriend to my partners daughter after a couple months although my partner said he wanted to meet him first before he met his daughter...that didn't happen,she introduced them without him knowing.One rule for her...We are going up this weekend and I am going shopping whilst he goes to see his daughter and explain things to her and tries to negotiate with the ex.I can't see her changing her mind anytime soon, but I'm not going anywhere so she'd better get used to it!Thanks again for all your views and support,and wish me luck!!I'll keep you updated! :O)

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Okay,so this weekend is not happening as it would appear I am not even allowed in the vague vicinity.Even though I will not be meeting her and will be shopping it's just not on apparently,and now there is the guilt trip of her children need his help and support at the moment because her boyfriend had enough and left.So it seems that it is supposed to be up to my boyfriend to pick up the pieces of her failed relationship...I've never really hated someone,but i'm very very close to it at this moment in time...grrr.
I think your boyfriend should contact a solicitor and get his access rights down on paper. Although this may seem quite a drastic step long term it will help with his ex girlfriend 'moving the goal posts ' all the time. He should be allowed to get on with his life and be allowed to enjoy time with his daughter without worrying about the consequences. This is a more common problem nowadays and I believe the law is at fault which allows many women to do this when a relationship turns sour. He should be able to introduce you to his daughter as if you are genuinely serious about each other it is inevitable you will have a lot of contact in future. His ex should really grow up and do whats best for her kid and not her all the time.
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I thought this might be a good update as a lesson learned!

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