Dad's new girlfriends — The Bump
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Dad's new girlfriends

Hi everyone,

So we are at a rough part in the relationship with me and my ex. We have been broken up for four years now, so dating is to be expected. However through the time we've been broken up I've had one relationship and he is involved with my daughter. We have been together for two years and we are discussing marriage. However my ex has had many relationships. I understand that not all are going to be successful or last. But each one lasts between 3-4 months. Most often than not she will live with him for those months, or stay there most of the time and be there on all weekends. Particularly his every other weekend. I know i cannot make a rule that he cannot have girlfriends around her as she is now 5, and it's nearly impossible to avoid them meeting. But what can I do to make this easier? She gets attached and likes these girls and then they break up, fight in front of her and then she never see's them again. I'm seeing the negative affects on her and he is in denial and continues dating and introducing them to her immediately. 

She has told me that "Daddy keeps throwing away his girlfriends, but I think he's going to marry this one. They've been together for a while." 
They were dating from August until October. And have been broken up since. She had no idea they were broken up when she told me this last week. and just the past weekend she met his new girlfriend. 

I'm at a loss. I know I cannot control what happens at his house as it was our decision to break up. But this is not what I want her to think of relationships and for her to develop a trust issue from losing people she gets close to. 

Any help or advise is great, thanks in advance. 
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Re: Dad's new girlfriends

  • edited November 2016
    I'm sorry. that situation sucks, and unfortunately I don't think there's much you can do about it. some people do have a "morality clause" in their custody agreement. while you could try that, if he doesn't cooperate there's not a great way to enforce it. We have (different)  issues with stability in my stepson's BM's household and we can clearly see the harmful effects it has on him, even though she says he's always fine and never has problems with her. Adults have the right to make their own adult decisions, even if they don't or won't consider the effects on their child.

    One thing we do is work hard to be the rock of stability and security. When something happens that throws the child's life into a spin (like yet another significant adult leaving), make sure everything else is consistent. This means not only being careful with your romantic relationship,  but other significant people in the child's life should remain the same. Pay attention to things like teachers, babysitters, coaches, etc. If she takes lessons or does sports, pick one and stick with it rather than trying a new class each season. AND go slow and careful with your significant other. Go to premarital (or even pre-engagement) counseling. Your daughter WILL wonder what will happen if he leaves and will believe that may happen. Also, work hard on your relationship with your SO. One of the greatest gifts you can give her is a model of a lasting marriage that works and the stable childhood that provides. 

    Also, get her into therapy. This is significant and really difficult for her. She needs to process the thoughts and emotions this brings up, but not primarily with you. She knows you and BD don't get along and she's especially sensitive to things you may say or do that seem to attack her father. Even if all you do is reflect her feelings, it has a different meaning coming from your mouth. Keep your words and support about her "I see you're feeling really disappointed" or "you're sad right now" without comment on what happened that made her feel that way. let her say it if she needs to.


    ETA: Of course, the best solution would be for BD to realize the effect this has on your daughter and make a different decision in the future based on her best interest. if you or someone close to him, maybe a parent or good friend, can have that conversation with him, that may help. the advice above is based on my own personal experience with a narcissistic BM with enmeshment issues who can't seem to understand that her child is a separate person from herself whose needs may be different than her wants or needs. that's the "If you absolutely cannot work with the other parent" advice 
    20thirteen
  • I wholeheartedly agree with PP.  Especially when it comes to counseling.  An unbiased 3rd party to talk to may help her sort out her feelings about the revolving door that is your ex's love life. 
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