Author Topic: Navigating the waters of new relationships when SO has limited child time  (Read 2728 times)

daysofelijah

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Wow, I'm sorry for the turn of events. It sounds like his x-wife will have the run of things until the kids are older unfortunately. X's stink.

Good that you can look at the bright side of the move and that it will still be a good thing for you. I'm happy I made my move and we are adjusting pretty well. I'm looking forward to the kids starting at their new school and hoping they fit in and find new friends. I hope your son adjusts well too.

Despite the dealings with the x last month things are going smooth here. Although I will admit having him here every evening and all weekend is wearing on me a bit. It's made me recognize that taking things as slow as we are is a very good thing. I had a PMS breakdown this afternoon about being exhausted from taking care of everyone, and he took it as a hint to go home to his house, lol. I love him, but geez sometimes I just need some alone time.

I hope your NG can make things work for everyone involved. This stuff is very hard.
Amy, mom to four (14,13,9,5)

tybec

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Update: 

Moved last week. Day 5 in new house.  Painter here today. So a mess for about 2 more weeks.  NG had kids until Sat. night.  His mother asked to take my son with the grandkids to the movies Friday, so they went.  She had the idea, per NG.  She brought treats as house warming gift, so she is supportive of me and NG. 

NG is in depression some.  He is researching Father's Rights and contacting state reps. for law changes.  He won't see sons for 2 weeks due to school schedule activating. 

He stayed Sat. night,  and I talked about being in "sleep mode" with him and feeling he did not need me when he had his children as he was content.  I told him it is a pattern since last summer.  He agreed he is good at compartmentalizing.  I told him lots of men or women would bring their kids to a friends house and help them move, and he did not  He said he would have to deal with their mother in court stating he takes his kids to his GF's house and works instead of time with the kids.  I said "normal" families do that, not just cater every moment to the children.  He stated he would feel guilty for not being strictly for his kids.  He is thinking it over now.  He couldn't deny it.  I basically told him we will see how things go since I am here, now.

I didn't want to go with him and his kids on their Friday night excursion, too expensive and been there and done that, the county fair.   DS and I  went out exploring, found a great Japanese restaurant and ate.  NG doesn't like Asian food. My LH was stationed in Japan a year, so he taught me how to find good Japanese food.  I realized I like getting out and exploring and felt like I did in my early 20s.   I can be independent and explore and meet new people, and it will be fine.  I felt strong, and it was just good.

So, NG has to figure out how to manage us, in the new arrangement.  He loves me, and we will see.  He has loved many women in his life and timing or something didn't work. I had one love, and it lasted' til death do us part.  So, blending.  Time will tell.

Julester3

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You told him your piece and now he needs to mull it over and figure things out. I think that's all you can do right now.

I'm glad you and your son went out on your own. We love Asian food and I like to do that with my own kids. Experiences are so much more lasting than things.

 Sorry you'll have to live in disarray but it's nice to have that fresh coat of paint and set up the house your way.

Captains wife

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Good post - and I'm happy to see you are enjoying your new area with your son. Also very good you voiced your opinion on the topic. Yes, NG needs to sort this stuff out. I have heard many stories like this and am experiencing some of it myself - re: trying to date a divorced guy with children and dealing with "divorce guilt". Hey if I can solo parent and work full time (which means I don't get to see my son as much as Id like either) plus take time to date someone (and fit this into my and my son's schedule), I expect the same in return. And so should you.....there has to be a happy balance for all.

marriedwithkids77

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New Thread.

Same topic.

How to work through the dating/new relationship with someone who has limited time with their children. 

So, an example of this. Separate vacations this summer because of scheduling issues.  NG just got back from his with his boys.  3 days no phone contact.  We have talked about it.  WE did text.  But still.  I didn't go 3 days without contact with LH ever once married.  I am starting to get used to it as I am independent and have been on my own for 4 years.  But then that scares me.  Interdependence in a relationship is needed.  So, there ya go.


Important issues brought up here - thanks!

I certainly understand you being a bit put out regarding the 3 days of no talking while NG on vacation. But, could this simply be a function of the differences between men and women? Many guys don't need, or perhaps even want, the level of tagging up that many women want. I'm not suggesting that anyone is right or wrong here, only that it may be due to differences in personality.

As to the level of attention NG showers upon his kids when they are around - he may feel some underlying guilt as a result of the breakup of his first marriage and he overcompensates when he has his children. Who knows? Just a thought.

SB, you mentioned NG may be compartmentalizing various aspects of his life. That is very possible - as a group, men oft times do that. Rightly or wrongly, we view it as a feature, not a bug within our lives.

It seems everyone involved here will have to compromise a great deal in order to have this relationship be a happy, successful one. Everyone, on both an individual level, and as a couple, must decide what they are willing to give in to and what they will not. Each of us will have our unique 'line' that must be reached to feel comfortable.

I guess the trick is to find where the line is and is that compatible with what the other person can live with and that's where the communication aspect comes into play.

Blending isn't for sissies - Good luck - Mike

I agree

arneal

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Thanks for quoting Mike on that, marriedwithkids. The part that jumped out at me reading it again was this:
Quote
Many guys don't need, or perhaps even want, the level of tagging up that many women want. I'm not suggesting that anyone is right or wrong here, only that it may be due to differences in personality.
I appreciated that because I've come to realize in my own journey that I desire more of some kinds of communication while as Mike pointed out, NG might not need or want that 'level of tagging up' ... Good reminder that regardless of gender, we are all quite different in so many ways.
Andree'

Seek peace, and pursue it - Psalm 34:14b

tybec

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Thanks for the input on contact.  Communication is key.

I have communicated.  MY LH left for work, and I didn't get up to say good bye.  I got the Sheriff at the door 1 1/2 hours later telling me he had died in a car accident.  SO, for me, a voice contact is very important.  It is not guaranteed as we all know here. I have shared this. It is MY thing, based on reality.  Otherwise, yes, I would agree that for some, the voice contact is not necessary. 

He is military like my LH.  He has spent a year in Iraq and suffered. I guess I would think between the two events, he would like to hear my voice, too.

 Learning.  All is new.

trying2breathe

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Although thinking it's not a big issue, I'm reminded of how widowhood plays into new relationships.  Can relate tybec to communication as my LH left for a bike ride after work and never returned.  I didn't get the chance to ask about his day or why he felt the need to rush out to take that bike ride.   Voice contact and a check in to me is essential, otherwise I start imagining the worst.  My NG takes time off when his kids visit and on occasion checks out and doesn't call or text.  He cycles daily, there have been times when I've not heard from him so watch the news to see if there's been any accidents.  :o  I've explained how I feel to him and he says that he gets it.  Umm, not really.  Indeed everything is new.
Have I told you lately how much I love you?

arneal

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Thanks for that, tybec and trying2 ... had not considered that aspect, even in my own life. My dad and I were not on speaking terms and one day he left for work and was killed in a car accident as well. I got the call at work. They wouldn't let me drive home because I was pregnant and I had to call the first husband, who refused to come because I wouldn't tell him what was wrong (as if your pregnant wife having your dispatcher call you off your bus route because of an emergency wasn't enough information to make you come). I had to blurt out on the phone that my dad was dead and he needed to come get me because I wasn't allowed to drive. It was horrid. Yeah, never thought about that aspect of why some sort of contact might be a bit more important to me ...
Andree'

Seek peace, and pursue it - Psalm 34:14b

tybec

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Well, NG finally got his kids after 2 weeks. Interestingly, we did not see each other for 4 days.  I just thought we would cross paths more often, but life is busy.  He did invite us (son and me) to go swimming at their family club Friday after work/school.  This worked out well.  Then we did a cave trip Sat. with zip-lining and rappelling. I had done the zip lining as a bucket list a year after DS died.  Not my favorite.  So, rappelling was really out of my comfort zone, but I was willing to try.  The cave thing is not my thing.  Underground is not where I ever want to be  ;).  Walking out left me embarrassingly out of breath. Wow!  Need to set some real fitness goals. 

We got back to our town and me and DS came home. Exhausted.  I am sure he would have liked us to stay, but we needed our space.  Didn't think I would be that way, but now that I have my home, I want to be in the comfort of it.  His place is perfect for him and his boys, but limited space otherwise. 

So, changing.

Had a great interview on Friday.  Can work something out with this clinician who owns a practice with 16 staff.  I have more experience x 3, so she could use me in her group. Will see if we can hammer things out.  How awesome is that? 

Independence. Not a bad thing.  :)
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 06:39:52 AM by tybec »

arneal

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Good for you, tybec!
Andree'

Seek peace, and pursue it - Psalm 34:14b

tybec

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This divorce stuff.  I don't know what to do but stand back and watch and listen.

NG had kids for his weekly 2 hour dinner night since he does not get them this weekend. Yeah, it is sad the limited time he gets.  His ex didn't arrive at the allotted time to pick them up.  So, he took them home and text her he would keep them and drop them off at school tomorrow.  (200 yrds. walk, remember)   

He text me about it.  I just hoped she would not call the cops.  He said she acknowledged him with an email (documentation) but I just don't know about this choice.  He is making a point, but will it help him with his goal?  And the drama that it is going to create!  But I am not in his shoes with someone telling me you are qualified to parent half time in the summer but not during the school time.  Crazy. 

I am 3 weeks in my new home.  Job interview went well.  Just trying to relax and see how this pans out, but it is dramatic.  Talk every day but haven't seen him since Sunday.  Ugghhhh......

arneal

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So sorry, tybec. Wow -- three weeks already! Time sure flies. It seems you are doing exactly what you should be doing: your life.

Divorce is such a difficult matter. After LH divorced his ex, I noticed how his daughter viewed us. Our relationship was so different than that of her mom and dad; her mom would come to my house (he never wanted the extra drama so the two houses purchased during our time together were bought by me) and try to show off. I would ignore her antics and do me. Eventually she stopped. But even after he died, his daughter seemed to see more of a connection between him and me than him and her mom; I once made a comment early on about having a 'friend' (NG) who could fix my garage door opener but I didn't want him to because it was hot and he'd get all dusty and dirty out there. Her response? He could do it and just clean up because I have two bathrooms but he wasn't allowed to use the one in my bedroom  ::)

NG is divorced and it has obviously left scars. His ex didn't seem to care much for his feelings, which has hardened him. I am patient and do my best to let him have his space, but like you say, it is hard. His doctor took him off work this week because of his nerve pain; I took dinner over on Tuesday. Mind you, we had talked about going to see my son this weekend. I texted some info I promised to send him on Wednesday, no answer. I texted him yesterday to ask if I should reschedule the meet up this weekend, no answer. I'm giving it until this afternoon and then I am texting to say that I guess that means yes, postpone. Like you, I have too much to do to sit around, waiting while he works out some of this stuff.
Andree'

Seek peace, and pursue it - Psalm 34:14b

Trying

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Tybec you have a lot on your plate right now!  2 years ago I moved and made a career change while figuring out my new relationship and all of its complexities.  It can make your head spin! 

NG insisted on more time with his kids this past winter after he moved in here and was in the kids school district finally, before he only had them for a few hours 2 nights a week and every other weekend.  Now his ex says she will not allow week day overnights any more.  No reason other than she doesn't think it's best.  Despite the fact that on our nights they eat balanced meal at the family table, get homework done, play time, reading and bed at a decent hour.  They get an extra 90 minutes of sleep in the morning because they don't have to go to before school program and can take the bus.

Yesterday he met with an attorney and will be petitioning for an updated custody arrangement that reflects the shared custody they are supposed to have.  The attorney seems to think it's an easy case.   It's an expense he really doesn't need now but she refuses to discuss anything or be reasonable so there is no other option.  Kids who are fortunate enough to have 2 living parents who love them and want to actively parent should not be denied time with either parent. 

Figuring out my role in all of this has been difficult, now that we are just a month away from being married I feel like I have a little bit more of a say but mostly all I can do is be supportive.  There is so much about the mind set of the divorced that I just can't get since I've never been there, sort of like DGI's with the widow experience. 
You will forever be my always.

tybec

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Re: Navigating the waters of new relationships when SO has limited child time
« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2017, 10:51:24 AM »
Update:

NG had meeting with his attorney.  He had Father's rights meeting a couple weeks ago and had a national speaker on parents' right come and speak and a local representative that helped with passing the new legislature about presumptive custody at separation.  So, the state is slowly moving into the year 2017. 

He is working vigorously on his course.  He will likely be held in contempt, but not go to jail for 6 months for keeping his kids overnight.  Pay court costs, fine, maybe. 

I understand his needs/desires. 

I am dealing with my mother in hospice.  She is declining, so I am there as frequently as I can be.  My great interview for the job came to an end. Conflict of interest.  I knew it was highly likely but thought working out of town may make it an option, but as the owner works with NG's son, and therefore, his ex, she doesn't want to even acknowledge we ever spoke.  I understand.  I wish I didn't like her, though.  But she was great.  I had looked her up last summer when NG's ex chose her as a therapist, and so I knew her background.  Anyhow.

I am supportive.   l listen.  But I do feel like I am left out to fend for myself.  He asks about me, how I am coping with my mom, but doesn't have any follow through. Provides an ear but not much else.  He took off early this week for his kids, his meeting with the attorney.  He has never done anything like that for me. 

So, just let it go?  Accept it?  We are going on 1 and 1/2 yrs.  I hate feeling so much like I can't depend on him.  My LH and I were so intertwined, we were a team, a given.  When my father was dying, I called my LH and told him I was packing up to leave to go and he begged me to wait so he could go with me, so I would not be alone, and he loved my dad.  Can me and NG get there?  Or is this the reality of his situation and blending ?