I see this a lot on various sites. Mom wants to meet with the other woman or new girlfriend (and it could honestly be a new girlfriend- affair accomplice is gone and here’s the replacement). People say, “Don’t bother. Nothing good can come of it!” and she insists while being supported by others who say, “You go, girl! I’d want to know who was around my children, too.”
I will preface this with the acknowledgment that Rock Star and Picasso were 15 and 13 when their dad and I split up. I was not dealing with babies or toddlers or even young elementary aged children. I had teenagers. I further acknowledge my children have never met Harley. They have never been in her presence. They have never spent a single overnight with their father. So I am going to run my mouth about something which I’ve never had to deal.
I don’t understand this need to meet the woman. Either she’s the affair accomplice and she’s a piece of shit that does not give two fucks about you, your feelings, or your kids, or she’s a new woman who had no part in your family disintegrating. If she’s the first one meeting her isn’t going to do a damn thing.
There was a woman on one of the pages I follow who insisted upon meeting with the OW. People told her it was not a good idea and yet she insisted. She wanted to make sure the OW knew her place and that she (the OP) was the mom. She told everyone she thought the OW was intimidated by her and this talk was going to be a piece of cake. She was going to set the rules and the OW would follow them.
Wrong. The fact that this woman is perfectly willing to fuck a married man should tell you she has no respect for boundaries. The meeting did not go well and the mom left the meeting feeling terrible. The OW spoke down to her, was not intimidated at all, let her know that mom was not calling all the shots, and has taken every opportunity since then to insert herself in the parenting relationship.
She would have been far better off simply ignoring this person. Life was not chaos before they had their little tete a tete. Now it is. And the worst part of all is that Mom has no recourse. Dad has every right to have whomever he chooses around his kids, absent a court order.
It is a side effect of divorce that you do not have complete control over what your children are exposed to. If this person is not a danger to your child there is nothing you can do. In fact, I’ve heard of instances where mom’s boyfriend just got out of prison and she was planning on moving him in with her and her three children. Perfectly legal. Dad could do nothing. I’ve heard of instances where Dad is living with a convicted child sex offender but there is nothing preventing her from being around the young female child because the abused child was male and in his teens, and she had served her sentence. And yes, there are instances where a parent is able to ban the affair partner or the new girlfriend/boyfriend because of a history of drugs or child abuse or some other sort of criminal record, but unfortunately there are just as many stories where the parent is helpless. But we’re not talking about those cases. We’re talking run of the mill, law abiding citizens. Mom just wants to know who this person is because she wants to vet whoever is around her child.
I always want to know what exactly Mom (or Dad, but it’s usually Mom) is hoping to accomplish with this meeting. You meet her. You don’t like her. You don’t trust her. Now what? I mean, if judges are letting convicted felons move in with children they’re sure as hell not going to prevent dad’s newest girlfriend from being around your child because she likes to drink wine. Or she lets the kids watch more TV than you’re comfortable with or gives them sugary treats or goes to fast food restaurants to feed them instead of cooking a meal.
You meet her and you don’t like her, don’t like the way she parents, don’t like the things she does or likes? Too bad. Welcome to the sucky part of divorce. You might get really lucky and be able to communicate your hopes and wishes for your children (probably only if she’s a new girlfriend and not the OW) but you have no authority to tell her what to do. So what have you accomplished aside from showing her your weak spots and giving her the upper hand if she is inclined to take it?
So many people urge the parent to put language in their court order about not introducing new partners for six to twelve months, or not allowing sleep overs. Some even encourage putting it in the court order that the affair accomplice is not allowed to be around the children at all. Again I ask, to what end?
First of all, you are not likely to get it ordered that the other woman or other man is not allowed to be around your children. I’m not saying it never happens but those are generally special circumstances. It is a rare happening.
Secondly, cheaters lie. They break rules. Sure, put it in there that he can’t introduce Skankella to your kids for six months and he’s not allowed to have her spend the night when the kids are there. And then when he turns around and introduces them the very first weekend he has them and she spends the night what are you going to do?
“You can take him back for contempt of court!” they shout gleefully. “It’s a legal document and he’s in contempt if he goes against it.”
Okay, sure. He’s in contempt. As a person who actually had to take my ex back to court- twice- for contempt I can tell you it cost me approximately five thousand dollars each time I had to do that. My lawyer was fairly cheap as lawyers go, too. I only paid $250 an hour. Some people have those $300 and $500 an hour lawyers. I’m sure there are those who have even more expensive lawyers. Good for them. They’re going to pay even more than I did.
I was also taking him back to court because he either wasn’t paying support at all (first contempt hearing) or he was in arrears (second contempt hearing), which means I actually got money from taking him back to court. I could use that money to help pay my legal bill.
How much money do you have to take him back to court every time he pisses you off? Do you really want to spend five grand because he introduced the other woman to your kids before he was supposed to? Are you going to take him back to court because the girlfriend or affair accomplice slept over when your kids were there? And if you are sitting here saying, “Abso-fucking-lutely!” then let me ask you what exactly you think the judge is going to do in this case? The cat’s already out of the bag. He can’t un-introduce them. He can’t rewind time and have her sleep chastely in her own bed. At most your ex will get a slap on the wrist. If that. You really want to pay five grand for that? Do you think that’s going to stop him? What do you think a judge is going to do? Terminate his parental rights? Give you 100% custody? Order supervised visitation? Make him pay a hefty fine?
I think it stands to reason that if judges don’t give a shit about adultery then they’re not going to care about your ex-husband introducing a new woman to the kids sooner than you’d like. They’re not going to particularly care about him sleeping with her now. That would be kind of ironic, don’t you think? The judge doesn’t care about adultery but they’re very concerned with premarital sex. Honestly, if that was the case I think adultery covers both of those. You can’t be committing adultery without having premarital sex.
I realize there might be some jurisdictions where the judges care more than others. I’m assuming those would be much more conservative jurisdictions. So yes, the judge might care and the judge might be highly irate that the ex did not follow his or her orders. However, we’re still back to, “How much money do you want to spend on this?”
The bottom line is this: As long as your child is not in danger drop the rope. You control yourself. You don’t control your ex. You couldn’t control him when you were married to him and you control him even less now that you’re divorced. Give yourself peace. Trying to micromanage his life and prevent this new woman from being around your children is not going to bring you peace. It will turn into one big, expensive headache.