exNPD's new GF and the push to introduce to our child

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anxiousmom

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exNPD's new GF and the push to introduce to our child
« on: January 20, 2020, 01:29:56 PM »
Hi all,

Been awhile since I've checked in - since the signing of our new order, I've been trying to breathe and live life with my H. We celebrated one year of marriage not too long ago.

So, in our new order, we agreed to do a stair-step to standard visitation for NPD exH and our DS. We are still in that transition - currently DS stays 1 night during ex's weekends, then I pick him up and he goes back over there the next morning. He is a month or two away from standard visitation (which terrifies me, but I am trying to let go of what I cannot control), but again, the stair step is not just for ex H, but for our DS, who is nearly 8 and had never stayed one night with his dad until a little over 1 month ago.

Well, several months ago, exNPD H mentioned in our parenting facilitation meeting that he wanted to introduce his new GF to our son. Our agreement was that we would wait - AT MINIMUM- 6 months and be certain this was a person we were spending the rest of our life with before an intro with DS. He told us at the time "it will be 6 months in just a few days," as if 6 months was a countdown clock rather than a bare minimum requirement. She is divorced with 3 kids, all of whom are younger than DS.

Neither the parenting facilitator, the supervisor, nor ex's T have expressed it was a good idea for ex H to introduce his GF at this time. In fact, they all agreed he should wait at least 2 months, I believe they are operating to try to buy my DS as much time as they could. Our PF mentions every time we discuss "what's the rush?" but it falls on deaf ears.

ex H agreed I would meet with his GF before an introduction to our son. This is not something he wanted to happen, in fact, he fought it and after he fought it, he demanded that he be included in this meeting because he "believed I resented him and didn't want me to talk bad about him." Red flags all over the place. If she knows everything there is to know, he shouldn't be worried about a meet. However, he was forced to hold himself to the same standard he asked of me when he asked to meet my now-H. A one-on-one meet.

Now, since our appointment, he is pushing for it to happen ASAP, which obviously isn't necessary. I explained to him that DS had actually brought up organically to me that he "might have a stepmom someday" followed quickly by "but I really like it just me and my dad right now."

Here's another rub: the new GF happens to be a counselor intern. She works with kids, therefore considers herself to be an expert in children and based on conversations I can see the writing on the wall that she is the type who will tell him what to do/best way to handle our son. The supervisor has also said the GF is the one who is pushing the meeting and expressing the "unfairness" of our arrangement to ex H.

Obviously the GF butting in to co-parenting is something I will fight, but as far as the intro to our son, I know he will reject this woman if his dad insists on pushing it right now. How much do I fight this? I do have a couple tools at my disposal (the professionals involved) but at the end of the day, unless he agrees to something in parenting facilitation, he will do what he wants to do. And his relationship with our son will be what he makes of it, but I just want to protect our DS as much as possible from his father's selfish living.

Can anyone give any insight? I would like to delay this meet as far out as possible. This girl is already giving major red flags. None of the professionals can understand how any "counselor intern" would think it was a good idea to push an intro while DS is in the middle of this transition. None of them think her introduction ideas were good, in fact, they were awful. Ideally, the happy couple would break up before I had to worry about it, but it appears she's either into "fixing" people, doesn't know exH's full story, or he's fooled her for now. But unfortunately, DS's well being hangs in the balance.

Guess I'm just looking for someone who can relate/can offer any advice. What should I say in our meeting? My thought was to build rapport, ask her about herself, ask about her kids, help get her guard down and then tackle my concerns from a "mom to mom" place. For instance, "I am sure as your kids' mother, you know them better than anyone else does, yes? So, please understand where i am coming from when I say, I want the best for you too, but I know my son and he will reject you in the picture if this is forced on him too soon."

Thoughts?

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Penny Lane

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Re: exNPD's new GF and the push to introduce to our child
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2020, 02:45:44 PM »
Hi anxiousmom,
Yikes, this seems like really bad news. I think you're right, that ultimately he's going to do what he wants whether or not the PF agrees. Worst case scenario, you can use that to your advantage to show that he's not abiding by the terms of the agreement or making decisions that are in the best interest of your son, maybe?

Here was our experience: DH and I waited a very long time for me to meet the kids, and we took it verrrrry slowly. For a long time it was just occasional dinners or an outing on the weekend, and contact gradually increased from there. It was probably a year or more after I met them that we did an overnight and for a long time it was only on the occasional weekends. This gave the kids and I a chance to build our relationship organically. It was great, the kids and I have a very strong bond, I HIGHLY recommend it to any reasonable person trying to introduce a partner to their kids. Like you, DH really wanted to wait to introduce the kids to someone until he knew it was going to be a forever type thing.

His ex ... basically has done the opposite. She's had a string of boyfriends, many of them short term. It seems that the boyfriends overlap or almost - one weekend she's having her boyfriend stay over at her house, the next weekend it's a new boyfriend, then the kids see the first guy that week, then she's telling them that they're never going to see the first guy again ... from afar it seems to be a real disaster. Unsurprisingly, this does not get the same positive results as our strategy did. The kids have gotten less and less invested in the boyfriends. The first one did art projects with him and they would talk about him all the time. The latest one has been in their lives for quite a bit of time, but we almost never hear about him from the kids. They seem to understand that he's not going to be a permanent fixture in their lives and that they shouldn't get too invested. Sad, but I don't blame them!

So, my point is, you are right that this would be bad for your son. Another observation: your ex is likely telling this woman HIGHLY untrue things about you. If I had to guess it would be that you took his son away, that you are controlling, that the son flourishes when with him and he's been such an involved father all these years and you've been interfering with that. Given that, she'll come into this meeting thinking horrible things about you. She might even be scared of you. She's pushing for this introduction based on an EXTREMELY wrong idea of what the situation is. I think it is bizarre that she thinks it's appropriate to push for a meeting at all, but I suppose it makes sense if you assume he has lied to her about the situation and that they have some codependent dynamics. I think the fact that she's a counselor intern explains some of this - she has enough training in people to know when she sees a problem, but not enough experience to know how to fix it or even whether it's hers to fix or not.

As a side note, DH has stopped asking for meetings with BM's various boyfriends. He didn't find it to be very helpful. My initial meeting with BM was unpleasant but basically uneventful - I think she wanted me to think that she wasn't so bad, that DH was exaggerating and encourage him to submit to her abuse more often. But I wouldn't say it was a model for productivity, either.

So, I think you want to think through, what are your goals here? You're probably not going to change your mind about the meeting no matter what you hear, right? Because ultimately the problem here is your ex, not the girlfriend, and no matter what you hear from her won't change that it's a bad idea because of him. But I do think you have to at least PRETEND like you're going in with an open mind. So I think you should behave as if the goal of this meeting is to learn more about her and to discuss a possible meeting.

But you also can have some secret goals. For example to assess whether she understands what the situation is, and to correct any glaring factual misrepresentations he's made. In the short term, it probably won't matter - she'll still agree with him and keep trying to fix this. In the medium term, when she starts seeing inconsistencies with what he says vs how he acts, she might remember what you said in this meeting and take it to heart. In the long term it probably won't matter anyway because they're going to break up either way. But it can't hurt if she leaves with the understanding that he is a liar and that you aren't the villain he makes you out to be.

So I think when you go into the meeting your demeanor needs to be calm, businesslike, unflappable and productive. You should be setting the agenda. Come with a list of questions for her and ask them to share their proposal for meeting the son with you. Listen to whatever nonsense they spew. Try to ask questions of her not of him - you already know what he thinks, you want to hear where she's coming from.

And then, at the end of the meeting, lay out what you want and whatever your asks are. Keep the focus on DS's needs and on your concern for your ex's ability to have as good a relationship as possible with him. Share some facts with her that she likely doesn't know about WHY the situation is as it currently is and how DS's relationship with his dad is still pretty fraught.

Here is a possible script. If she doesn't seem receptive you should pull back some of this stuff: "Ok, thanks for taking the time to meet with me. I want to share my perspective and what I'm going to be looking for going forward. As you might know, (ex) has been in and out of (DS)'s life. Unsupervised visitation is still a new thing and it's being monitored closely by the PF as ex works to get his mental health under control. The relationship between the two of them is still fragile, and I want them to have the best chance at a good relationship as possible. Meeting a new partner is an inherently stressful thing, both for the parent and for the child, and I really want to make sure that any introduction doesn't get in the way of their relationship. That's why he and I agreed that we would only introduce DS to a new partner if we know it's going to be a forever relationship. If that's the relationship you guys have, that's great, in which case you'll have plenty of time to get to know DS. But right now I'm asking that we all follow the PF's recommendation and revisit this after two more months. When DS feels more confident in his relationship with his father, then I'll be more open to a meeting. I hope as a mother yourself you'll understand and respect where I'm coming from here."

You're productive, you're focused in giving HIM the best possible chance of success, you're appealing to her sensibilities as a parent ... I think a reasonable person would find it very hard to keep pushing, after all that. She still might. But that kind of productive, kind, firm attitude is your best bet at mitigating the issues here.

One more thought ... she might come in really aggressive, yell at you or start making demands. In that case I think you make ONE attempt to deescalate and then you leave. You don't have to subject yourself to abuse from a stranger. And if that happens I think you have better grounds with the PF to insist that she stay away from your son for now.

Good luck. I hope you manage to push off this meeting. And if you don't, just remember that the only thing your ex is doing is damaging his relationship with DS. DS will survive meeting the new partner, he will be OK, really. But he will likely resent that his dad is choosing to spend their limited time together with the new gf, and that will color how he sees his dad for years to come. Really sad, yes, but ultimately your ex can torch his relationship with his own son if he wants to. And sometimes it's best that the kids learn who their parent really is, before they start really counting on that parent to do the right thing.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2020, 03:08:35 PM by Penny Lane »

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anxiousmom

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Re: exNPD's new GF and the push to introduce to our child
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2020, 12:55:29 PM »
I appreciate it.

Just to clarify: the girlfriend is pushing to meet DS - not me. I'm using the meet as a way to push their introduction further down the road as much as I can during this transition.

I just keep thinking: what kind of MOTHER with 3 kids who calls herself a "counselor" would force herself to enter the equation at the same time she KNOWS our child is going through a transition? You don't have to be a professional to know that's a horrible freaking idea - unless you're so selfish you aren't even considering how the child would feel.

One of my main goals is to try to get a feel for what she sees her relationship with my son being, and try to relate to her - mother to mother - and explain to her that as a mom, we know our kids the very best and I want the best for their relationship, but if they push this RIGHT NOW - my son will likely reject her and I don't want that for her. To be kind but honest. I need to have peace of mind that I gave everyone involved the proper precaution and if they don't pump the brakes, they will only have themselves to blame and I will know I did everything I could to protect my son.

Our facilitator is also in favor of this meet. Honestly, all the professionals are perplexed as to how someone who calls herself a "counselor" would think any of this was a good idea. Red flag. Like all the others.

I am confident she doesn't know everything there is to know about my exH, but I also know it's not my place to make sure she does. It will all come out eventually, but I want her to know I am not an enemy, but I AM an advocate for my son first and foremost, and as long as she knows her place and her role, things will go smoothly. She starts overstepping her bounds, she's going to have hell to pay.

(We do have our parenting facilitator in our new order and we MUST use her for issues. She has the ability to file memos with the court.)

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Associate of Daniel

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Re: exNPD's new GF and the push to introduce to our child
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2020, 05:20:25 PM »
I'm the BM in my situation.  UNPD exH left me over 7 years ago for the uNPD woman who became his wife.

She had already met my son a few times throughout our marriage. (She and my UNPD exH maintained an (at least emotional) affair throughout our marriage.)

She was seeing my son on every visit my uNPD exH had with him from the moment he left me.

A few months later uNPD exH apparently asked ds if it was alright with him for them to start dating.

Ds was 6 years old.

 I'm not sure why they thought they weren't already dating.

Of course, ds wanted them to. He had no idea what he was saying yes to. And he was already enamoured with his future uNPD smum because she'd been love bombing him the whole time.

He's now 13, still under her spell and moves in with them today.

I'm losing my boy.

My suggestion is, regardless of whether or not a meeting takes place:  set extremely firm boundries from the start.

I've been dealing with and still am dealing with the uNPD smum:

 attending medical appointments for ds, including ones that I've not been made aware of. His uNPD father rarely attends.

 uNPD smum making medical decisions for ds and filling out medical and school forms about him,

uNPD smum being team manager and coach of his sports team -resulting in her refusing to include me in parent contact lists and therefore me not receiving various information regarding ds's sport,

uNPD smum badmouthing me, my parents and uNPD exH's parents to ds, trying to drive a wedge between him and us,

UNPD smum smearing my name to all and sundry.

And where is my uNPD exH in all of this?  He doesn't want any of those responsibilities so willingly hands it all over to his uNPD wife - because I'm a terrible mother you see, and I can't be trusted.

You will likely get no help from the medical providers or voluteer organisations (sports teams), who will willingly allow the uNPD smum to take over because they don't want drama.

Schools are better equipped but still allow the sparents too much access, in m opinion/experience.

I cannot stress enough.  Extremely firm boundries are needed right from the start.  I regret not being strong enough. I regret not knowing what to do from the beginning. But frankly, I still don't really know what to do

I really hope the woman in your situation (who sounds to be very unhealthy IMO) disappears from the scene very quickly.

AOD

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Re: exNPD's new GF and the push to introduce to our child
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2020, 01:06:25 PM »
Hi Anxiousmom,

Based on what I've read, I imagine the GF doesn't have all of the details.  Just being devil's advocate, she may think that because she is a counselor in training she can help DS through the transition.  This is naive, but it may be backed with good intent?  It doesn't mean you should change your stance, but on the  bright side...if uNPD exH does have DS meet her, maybe she will bring stability to his behaviors around DS?

When DH and I were first dating, I wouldn't meet BM.  She was telling the kids really horrible things about DH and I wasn't about to allow her to create a smear campaign on me with the kids.   I'm not saying you would do that, but nNPD may have convinced her you would, and she wouldn't feel comfortable meeting you alone.   Again- not excusing the situation, but the GF may not necessarily be terrible.   In my case, meeting her only validated my refusal to meet her earlier.

I think you should stand your ground for what you think is best for your son, but maybe have a small hope that if he does break from the advice of the PF, there could be a stable adult involved to level out his parenting?