Please, I need your help dealing with a controlling EX.

Travis - posted on 08/31/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )




In all fairness, I am a father, not a mother. That being said, I’m in desperate need of advice on how to deal with an unreasonable EX. I was separated 15 months ago and officially divorced for a few weeks now. The court indicated in the decree that we should share 50/50 time but only gave me Tuesday overnights and every other weekend because my EX moved 20 miles from me. I was interviewed by a court appointed advisor and she recommended a 50/50 plan as well.

I have been dating a woman since January and introduced my two daughters (4 & 7) to her late in February. I informed my EX of this relationship as soon as my GF met the kids as I felt she had the right to know. We went out of our way to portray our relationship as “just friends” and slowly began showing displays of affection in the following weeks. We tried to be sensitive to the kids as well as my EX. I have offered my EX the ability to meet my GF several times over the past six months but she has no interest to this point. My girls adore my GF but my EX does not allow them to speak her name in her house. My youngest has even said “my mom hate you” to my GF. My girls are now starting to keep secretes in hopes they don’t upset the other parent which is not good. Let me be clear, I don’t ask the kids questions or interfere in my EX’s life in any way!

Now to my problem.

The decree indicates “mother/father” shall pick-up the kids for visitation but doesn’t use the word only. It doesn’t restrict anyone by name from picking the kids up either. Based on what I’ve read, both of us should have the ability to delegate this task to a responsible adult. I notified the EX of my intent to introduce my GF to the kid’s teachers and put her on the pick-up list. My EX responded by saying that she will not allow it. She goes further by threating to contact the authorities if she discovers proof that my GF picked the kids up.

I can and will take her back to court to clarify this issue if I must but I want to know if there is a better way to deal with a disgruntled EX. I have given into her too many times and believe my lack of parenting time is direct evidence of that. I don’t want to spend my life fighting with this woman but I won’t allow her to take advantage of me anymore. I’m guessing my EX won’t approve of anyone I date but at some point she needs to move on. Please tell me how to communicate effectively with a controlling and irrational EX.

Thanks for taking the time to address my situation,



Travis - posted on 08/31/2012




I should mention my GF is a high school and community college biology teacher with a master's degree in education. She doesn't have a criminal record and has all the required security clearances required for her position. She's a sweet and caring person. I feel so bad that she must deal with my EX as well. I feel extremely lucky to have found someone so wonderful. I also believe the more people to love my kids, the better off they will be.


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Ev - posted on 07/01/2014




Its not easy to communicate with an ex on things especially when a divorce is so recent and the other parent has moved on and gotten into another relationship. Here is an example from my own personal life: I am the mother in this case and my ex husband had started dating rather quickly. The only way I knew that he had a girlfriend was through my kids' ways of telling me indirectly through questions about what I would do or think if dad had someone new. What I also found out after that was that he was allowing this unknown woman to me take MY children places without my knowledge or having met her. He would have her babysit on his weekends if he had to work. I finally got the chance to tell him that under no circumstances was a girl friend to take my kids anywhere and that if he had to work to allow me to have them for the weekend even if it was his or to have someone in his family (parents or siblings of his) to keep the kids. I said that I did not know the woman and therefore until I did know her was not comfortable to have her taking my kids across the state line to go to church or whatever the event was. I told him she had no rights to be doing that with my kids. They did not date too long. The point is after that he did not have his girlfriends watch the kids anymore at least until spring break and then he tried to deny me access by phone to them when they stayed with her for the week. I told him about that too. He relented and had her call me so I could talk to them.

I do not think its so much that she is being hard to deal with but she is having to deal with being newly divorced, you moving on into a new relationship rather quickly during and after and having her children introduced to a new woman in their lives so soon. I would have waited to do that, because the kids can get attached to that person and what if you and this fine lady decide it does not work anymore? You not only have the kids emotions to deal with from a divorce but also from loosing a new friend to them and they are not old enough at this point to understand. Its really too soon for them to be introduced to a new woman or man. I can see where your ex wife is coming from with this. The kids and both of you need time to heal from the divorce and get used to a new way of life. And your ex wife does have the right to say no to anyone she does not deem okay to her to pick up your kids. She has the right to tell you no girlfriends. The girlfriend is not a step mother and therefore has no rights to be doing those things.

You could take this back to court but I will guarentee that the judge is not going to like things like this and tell the two of you to work it out. If the mother wants to add that certain people are not to pick up the kids she can and might have it set that way.

All I can tell you is to think things through before you do them.

Gena - posted on 07/01/2014




I agree with Amy,your girls shouldnt have to not be aloud to mention your GF name. Maybe aour Ex just needs some time to deal with the whole situation. I think it would be better for her and the kids if she would meet your GF..but you cant force her to. I wish you good luck and that things all turn out ok.

Amy - posted on 09/01/2012




When she's your wife I think you'll have more ground to stand on right now she's a girlfriend. I'm still married but if we were to ever divorce I wouldn't be ok with my ex's girlfriend picking my kids up from school. I do feel that your kids shouldn't have to feel like they can't mention your girlfriends name around their mom but this is all very soon give her time and hopefully she'll become more reasonable.

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