Not only is it sometimes unbelievable to me that another woman would even think of dating a man I just helped a client divorce but, when “new love” wants to be new mommy or is mean to the kids, there is a line to draw.
First of all, do not believe for one second that your ex doesn’t see it. Sure, he may be working crazy hours or too busy on the golf course during his parenting time to be present when his “new love” isn’t nice, but he knows about it.
Here are some ways to handle daddy and his new love when they are not nice to your babies:
1. Document everything! If baby comes home and says she was hit, report it to the police. If baby comes home and says she was sent to her room without dinner, attempt to have a conversation IN WRITING. If your ex will not discuss “what happens in his house” with you then you force the issue like this…
An e-mail is sent after every visit documenting exactly what your children say happened. The Subject line of the e-mail is; “Documented.”
You do not use this as an attack or a method of accusations. I tell my clients to limit the information to factual information without tone, blame, or attack. Here is an example:
“Tonight you were supposed to be with the children from 5-8 p.m. Baby said, that “new love” picked them up from childcare instead of you, fed them dinner and that they saw you for ten minutes this evening.
Baby also said that “new love” was not nice and did the following:…….
Please make sure to be present with our children during your designated parenting time or otherwise arrange another time to be with them as I never agreed, nor do they wish to share your parenting time with “love.”
Even if you have to send an same e-mail 15 times, so long as your child is not in physical or emotional danger, give him the rope to tie the bow and change or otherwise hang himself with his failure to parent during the parenting time and respond to your concerns.
2. The next best thing to do is to get your child in counseling immediately. Whether through the school or privately, your child needs an outlet other than yourself or ex to discuss feelings about his “new love” and ESPECIALLY needs to learn coping mechanisms to handle the following two situations:
A) Your child is taking on your anger and issues with the ex and is describing situations that falsely make “love” out to be terrible when in fact baby just knows or thinks this is what you want to hear or see to feel better yourself.
B) Your child really is having issues with the “new love” and does not want to lose the limited time she has with dad but is fearful of the situation because of how “new love” treats her.
Neither of these are good situations, but I can tell you after fifteen years working in the divorce industry either scenario is equally plausible.
3. Finally, put on your big girl pants and go share a cup of coffee with “new love” yourself.
So often women get caught up in the drama and victimization of divorce and lose not just their self-confidence but their mind all together.
More than likely, the kids are better off to having “new love” in the home than being there alone with your ex. They eat better, they often have more routine, and dad still has someone helping him parent.
Once she knows directly from you that you will not tolerate her disrespect towards your children; that you are always available to get the children if they are too much for your ex and her to handle and, that you would appreciate a very open and direct line of communication with her. AND you expect her to understand her role NOT as parent, but as your ex’s “new love,” it may absolutely surprise you and do wonders for your children during shared parenting time.
Be open, be direct, and be real about the situation.