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I am trying to gauge opinion on this matter, it’s causing me a lot of distress right now and to hear what you guys have to say would help a lot....

 

I have two daughters aged 13 and 10. They live with their father – due to some very unfortunate circumstances, they went to him 3 years ago – I lost my part-time job overnight and was effectively homeless. I spent 9 months working very hard to get myself a full-time job and back on my feet and for the last 18 months I have been seeing them as often as possible, weeknights and weekends and our relationship is fantastic. The girls went through a a difficult time with our separation and with my subsequent problems and he is a good dad, lucky enough to work from home and as they have been stable for the last few years I have recognised that they are better where they are having the best of all worlds with his place and mine, as well as his mum whom he is VERY close to and they see every day and have done since birth... He has had a couple of relationships in that time, and each time the girls have become close to these women’s children as well as the woman – they have said goodbye to a few friends when those relationships ended, but I accept that these things happen.

 

However, last November , 4 months ago...he met a woman online. She has a 10 year old boy...and this week he has announced that they plan to move in together in a town 20 miles away.

 

Of course I am upset because I have a great relationship with the girls and the contact we have had recently will definitely be compromised. I accept his new relationship fully – I have briefly met her and she seems perfectly nice, my youngest likes her, my eldest is a bit more reticent but doesn’t actively dislike her and I think she could bring good things to their lives. But what REALLY concerns me is that he planning to live with this woman despite having known her only 4 months and cannot and will not accept that this is VERY soon. They will all be moving to a new town, new schools, new home and a new family with a woman that he met online just months ago...

 

Are my concerns reasonable?

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Wow...yes in my personal opinion that is moving his whole family way too fast. But if the girls are excited and happy about it, then your best course of action is to act happy for them. Help them pack, get organized, etc. And make it an adventure. You may not agree, but if your ex has made his mind up and wont change it, then even if you have reservations, I think you should paint a smile on your face and support your girls.

 

Be sure to let them know that no matter what happens or where they move, you will always be right there if they need you.

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I would say your concerns are very valid. He really knows nothing about her character after 4 months. He really knows nothing about her child either. People THINK they know a lot about someone and they get really enamoured in the rosy romance phase. At worse he is setting his daughters up for heart break when it does not work out and at worst....one never knows. I am sorry.

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Are you able to talk to his mother about it? She probably has concerns too but you could decide to unite in your response. I think it's VERY hurried but - I think the advice to smile and help them pack is good. You could also talk to your daughters about their feelings - I doubt any kids their age would realyl want to move away from all their friends, and you can talk about that without implying any criticism, just "Wow it will be strange for you..." type stuff.

 

Are you able to talk to their Dad about how his decision impacts on them? If he has fallen head over heels then he may have let go of his usual good sense and consideration...

 

Otherwise - just Be There for them, as someone else has already said.

 

And remember - children are resilient. (Thank goodness!!)

 

I wonder what HER little boy thinks about it all? He is going to have to share Mum big-time...

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His mother doesn't know about it yet, and the girls have been told not to tell her until the details are finalised. She will be devastated.

 

I have talked to my eldest about it, and she is aware that it's not going to be easy...that they will lose out on friends etc, but their Dad assures me that they are "excited" at the prospect and I am wary of making it confusing for them...

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I would be very concerned. It's irresponsible IMO to move in with someone after 4 months. MUCH more so when you're not only moving yourself, but you're young children with you. That's insane. I would hope he would be more responsible for the welfare of his children. Even if those people really are ok, how well can this really work out?

 

But I guess, my mom remarried when I was 13. Lets see... they started dating shortly after Christmas. By the end of the school year, I stayed with my brother for a week because all our stuff was already moved & I needed to finish out the school year, & they were married in July. So that's 5ish months when we moved & they got married 7 months after meeting. It worked out ok. Wasn't how I would have planned out my life myself but it wasn't horrible most of the time.

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Yes, Alli, your situation worked out OK. By contrast, my own mother met someone, moved him in immediately and he went on to abuse me, my younger brother and finally the two children they ended up having together were taken into care and finally adopted. Nearly 15 years later he went to prison for sex offences against children. That's extreme I know, and of course may colour my fears.

 

I am not suggesting for a single moment this woman is anything other that perfectly lovely. But I fear that by moving himself and my girls away from all they have known, including a support network it is going to be doubly traumatic if it goes wrong. My eldest starts her GCSE's this next school year, she needs stability - how does he KNOW he can offer it in this new set up?

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Yes, Alli, your situation worked out OK. By contrast, my own mother met someone, moved him in immediately and he went on to abuse me, my younger brother and finally the two children they ended up having together were taken into care and finally adopted. Nearly 15 years later he went to prison for sex offences against children. That's extreme I know, and of course may colour my fears.

 

I am not suggesting for a single moment this woman is anything other that perfectly lovely. But I fear that by moving himself and my girls away from all they have known, including a support network it is going to be doubly traumatic if it goes wrong. My eldest starts her GCSE's this next school year, she needs stability - how does he KNOW he can offer it in this new set up?

 

Oh I totally agree. Personally I did not enjoy when they got married & I had to move, and I didn't even have anything horrible happen.

 

Of course, it is entirely possible that these people are ok, but still, you can't KNOW that, & that is scary. Why take the risk when the simple solution is to not move in with someone you've only known for 4 months!!

 

Have you talked to you ex about this? "Mike, you've done a FANTASTIC job with the girls the last couple years and I really appreciate that you have given them a stable home & allowed my relationship with them to flourish. However, the fact that you are moving them into the home of a person you've known 4 months is very disconcerting to me. I know you have their best interest in mind, but I do not like the fact that our children are going to live with someone I don't know, and someone that you have known for a very short period of time. Even if they are completely nice and normal people, this is a very significant change in their lives, and in the event that this relationship does not work out, which seems quite possible considering the short length of time you have known her, it will be very trying on them to move twice, build relationships with these people only to lose it shortly after. Therefore, I really wish you would reconsider making this move right now. You have every right to be happy, but in this instance I wish you would wait a bit longer & see if your relationship with this woman pans out before you move our girls in with them".

 

Honestly, I would not keep my mouth shut in this situation. But you do want to express that your concern is entirely with the children & not that you ar trying to control who he dates. Any chance they can move back in with you? Or are you still working on getting back on your feet?

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You know what Alli, apart from the fact that his name is Steve, I have said more or less EXACTLY what you have put. He tells me his relationship is none of my business, to which I responded it's very much my business as my daughters are going to be living with her.

 

I have also offered for the girls to live with me, but I don't earn a massive salary and even with maintenence and child benefit I would be seriously struggling to give them a decent standard of living. Plus I do think, after the period of time hey have lived harmoniously with him, it would be selfish of me to me fight for them back- he would not give in easily he has made this clear and it would possibly involve the courts. I dont think I would win, and they would go through a tug of war....

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I can't believe no one else thinks theirs anything wrong with what he's doing???

 

Well, at the very least I'd do a background check on her. Who cares what he thinks; you have a right to know who your girls are living with.

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Well, at the very least I'd do a background check on her. Who cares what he thinks; you have a right to know who your girls are living with.

 

She's a newly qualified teacher....should that make me feel safer? From a child abuse point of view, yes. But does that mean she will make a good partner and step-mum?

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She's a newly qualified teacher....should that make me feel safer? From a child abuse point of view, yes. But does that mean she will make a good partner and step-mum?

 

That would help calm my biggest fear. Even if they don't get along well, they will always have you. They may not enjoy living with her but at least you can be fairly certain they won't be abused.

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