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When Your Ex Gets a New Partner

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 15 Sep 2019 | comments*Discuss
Separated Dads Ex New Partner Children

It can be hard enough to maintain a good relationship with your children if there's just a limited amount of time you can spend with them. It never feels like enough, and you worry that there might be a distance growing between you.

That feeling can worsen if your ex gets a serious, long-term partner. The natural feeling is that the new man in her life might end up closer to your children than you are.

The Feelings

How do you cope with the emotions and fear – because that's exactly what it is – that your children might end up calling another man dad? A lot depends on the bond you have with your children. If it's strong and secure, you really have no need to worry. In their minds you will always be their father, even if someone else sees a lot more of them than you. Of course, it can be hard to remember and hold on to that, and the only thing that can make you feel better is time.

The problem can be if your relationship with your children is tenuous. The trick is not to feel it's a competition between you and your ex's new man. Remember, he needs to get to know the children and form his own relationship with them, which will take time. Ultimately, however much he's around, there's no way he can replace you. Simply be yourself with the kids and try to improve your own relationship with them.

What You Can Do

It's never an easy situation, and even if you're very secure with your children, you're bound to wonder from time to time, especially if the kids take to their mother's new man (and realistically, you should hope that they do, since it truly makes life easier for everyone).

Don't shy away from asking about things they do with him – although, in most cases, children tend to be garrulous, so they'll probably tell you anyway. Try not to show any jealousy, even if it's inside. Your kids don't need to know that there's a turmoil inside your head and heart. Try not to feel to threatened, since, in all likelihood, there's no reason.

Spend as much time as you can with your kids, and take advantage of all the time you're legally allowed. Do things they enjoy, and make sure you take part!

The Problems

If you don't have a good relationship with your ex, things can be a problem. All you can hope is that she doesn't try to turn the kids against you, and tries to put her new man into your place.

In that case, all you can do is be yourself and be loving with your children. Fighting fire with fire and saying bad things about your ex and her new partner is very counter-productive. It simply confuses the children and leaves them feeling very insecure. Enjoy your time with them and simply be you.

For more information, read Introducing A New Partner To Your Children and When Daddy Got A New Girlfriend on this site.

Check out the Separated Dads Forum... It's a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads.

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Hi wander if you can help I am going out with a women who has 2kids and she is in contact with the baby daddy in which I don’t mind the problem I have got is she txts him everyday even when he has the kids and today she tells me she is going shopping with him coz she does not trust his desission on shoes for the kids This I don’t mind but said to her thAt I would take her and the kids shopping for new shoes but she said no cause they need them today even though she does say she loves me I think that there is some thing going on am I right in finking this or am I paranoid
Littlelee1970 - 15-Sep-19 @ 2:19 PM
My husband left me for his ex wife, This was just 2 years of our marriage. The most painful thing as that I was pregnant with our second baby. I actually thought it was over that I lost it all.
ToniaSege - 13-Sep-19 @ 10:56 AM
My ex fiance n I broke up 5months ago, he was a good guy but he fighted alot, he met someone way younger then him in the 4th months,which he loves so much,he telling the truth to her he never did with me he's making time for her he never did with me and his children,he does not come see his daughter,I loved him he told me he love me too, but he took her instead , she is pregnant now, seems to me that he is going to marry her when they only dating a month now,I'm so heart broken,how can he just move on just so we were together for 3years, he just left without trying again now he is with a younger girl 18years old and he is 34, will they be forever ,will they
Gaynor - 7-Sep-19 @ 4:50 AM
Hi I was in a mother and baby placement with the babys dad and me and hi broke up over something stupid it went to court and I got asked to leave the placement and the father stays in the placement but I want to get back with my babys dad dose anyone e know what would happen
Tara - 20-Aug-19 @ 6:12 PM
I’m in a complicated situation. I have 3 girls with two different mothers. The mother of my eldest 2 daughters takes them to stay with the mother of my youngest daughter. I am separated from both mothers. I think this is a very weird situation and get told from both of them that it isn’t weird at all. I want to know your thoughts as I find it very inappropriate. Also the mother of my first 2 daughters sees all my family which have cut ties with me for reasons that are unknown to me.
Waynequarmby - 13-Aug-19 @ 12:20 PM
My ex has got a new partner but he does not want to know the boys so she gets anybody to look after them but does not ask there dad so the boys r not get on with there mum anymore so they want to live with there dad but mum want let them but she does want them an way
Patto - 25-Jul-19 @ 9:54 PM
BOW WOW - 18-Jun-19 @ 2:53 PM
After 17 years & almost 8 married together my Wife told me she doesn't love me anymore around 2 1/2 months ago & i'm completely heartbroken!!! I moved out of the family home leaving behind my 2 children (i now see them twice a week!). My Wife has recently started dating somebody & seems to have moved on already & doesn't speak to me other than anything to do with the children...it's absolutely breaking me. Can anyone please give me some advice!!!?
Bones - 12-Jun-19 @ 2:10 PM
am married with 2kids,if I was told my husband can ever cheat on me I won't even talk to the person again I never believe my husband can cheat on me on till I come across truth cyber lords was able to get a direct message to my phone, am so hurt, heart broken, so messed.all I need right now is you people advise before I file for divorce
susan - 7-Jun-19 @ 1:50 AM
My Ex and I do not have a good relationship, but I have moved on and am in a very good situation with a woman I have dated for months. My Ex was dating someone for 8 months, and only recently stopped seeing him about three weeks ago.During that time, he never came to a game, graduation, dance recital, etc.Last week, I believed that he showed up for the first time, and told my son it was good to finally see him there and, "I would have to go introduce myself." His reply was that was not the guy she had been dating....I have not had a problem with her dating and even kept the kids a month ago so she could go on a vacation with her (then) boyfriend. Over the past week, he has come to multiple games and a graduation.Tonight, he interrupted a conversation I was having with my son, speaking directly to him from about 20 feet away.This has worried me, but don't want to step out of line. How do I handle what seems to be a new revolving door situation with my Ex, and do so without hurting my kids? When we initially seperated, we had a clause in our temporary orders that stopped us from bringing dates to the children.My worry is that this guy won't stick, and we will rinse/repeat.Any suggestions? Do I just keep my nose out of it? Introduce myself to every new guy (my Ex is ice cold, and was very rude to my current girlfriend when she tried to talk/introduce herself)? I have no desire to ever get back together with my Ex.She was not faithful, and I filed for divorce.
Moonslight - 2-Jun-19 @ 6:51 AM
im writing on behalf of my brother,since his ex has got a new boyfriend,she has stopped all access with his 5 year old son,and is now using his mental health as an excuse for not letting him see him,same illness he had when they met,depression and anxiety which is kind of escalating now,hes heart broken,hes a wondeful dad,never raised his voice,but his ex screams and shouts at his,he was advised to get mediation with her andask for supervised contact but she will not respond to him at all,any help would be grateful,thanks
sookie - 29-May-19 @ 12:40 AM
Hi,please advice i broke up with my baby daddy about a year ago ar ago and it was a very bad break,during that year of break up there's been a whole lot of drama,insulting each other&all..but always tried to reach no matter how much we fought,so this he has been approaching me differently,i decided not to fight him anymore and just have a good relationship with him for the sake of the child,while on that he ended up telling me he still loves me and i told him i still do just that i know he has another woman in the picture,he said he doesnt love the new gf,he's forcing it but he's heart is still with me..but we havent reached a conclusion i just know how he feeks about me,so how will we end up together again?what should i do next since i know the chemistry us deep between us,hes been taking me out on date,calling me and texting but he doesn't bring up the getting back together part but hes acting right so far.
Shawty - 20-May-19 @ 10:18 PM
I just split from my ex partner of 6 years a d within about 4 weeks she is seeing someone else I've asked for her to not let the new guy around my son who's only 18 months as I've only just left the house and relationship bit she still has him around my son no respect for me at all, its horrible because I dont know if i still have feelings for her or whether it's just due to being together so long but theres so many lies she tells and I dont really know what to believe anymore, I dont want this new guy coming in thinking he can take me out the equation he tries to be nice to me and stuff but I cant help but hate him and hate her for what shes done to me so confused right now
Brand - 19-May-19 @ 9:16 AM
I have a huge problem. My soon to be ex husband went back to his first child’s mother which is completely fine .BUT the both of them and his family STOLE my child for 7 months and I had to take him to court. I won full physical and joint legal and he gets visitation. With that being said I still haven’t met this chic and it’s been almost 4 years. Can I stop her from being around my son with him only having him 63 days out of the year if they are both making me feel uncomfortable about her being around my son.??? He is 2 1/2 and can’t rwally speak for himself or defend himself and for them (him and his family) to hide her so well is very questioning to me???????
Mia - 26-Apr-19 @ 1:22 PM
Good read but how i would like advice on how to deal with your ex partner and mother of your child dating someone who used to be your friend for 20 years. I’m finding things so hard due to the betrayal of the situation. Now me and my old friend had already fell out a year before any of this happened and I have never really been on good terms with my child’s mom even more so after she chose to get in relationship with my old friend. I go through my mother when it comes to seeing my child. I spent all last year being put down as a person to the point I was close to ending my life cus of the stress she had corsed me. My child is my whole world, im a good guy but have not always got everything right. My issue now is my child being around this embarrassing situation. And the fear of my child getting close to her new partner sickens me. He has to previous baby mothers so not really a role model either. I’m trying to be civil about things but I keep loosing my head aswell as reacting to some of the insulting things they say about me. Its making me act out of character and making myself look daft at times. This is just to be brief I hope someone can shed some light on this and help me out thanks
Singledad - 22-Apr-19 @ 11:13 PM
Thanks for this, I’ve found it helpful. My wife and I split up after five years of being basically nothing more than housemates, it was the right thing to do, and it was amicable. I moved out and we share our daughter’s time fairly evenly, slightly more in her mum’s favour because that’s the home where she grew up. A year on and I’ve found an amazing new partner who also has a daughter, and my daughter has got to know them both, with my ex’s blessing. Now though, my wife has met someone new, and all my anxieties and fears have taken over. It’s my worst nightmare, to think of another man being a part of my child’s upbringing, it brings me genuine pain to think about it. But I know I can’t have my cake and eat it - I can’t expect my ex to be ok with me finding someone new and stay single herself. This article has helped in knowing that I’m not the only one with these fears, and that there is a way to be ok with it.
Slow_loris - 20-Mar-19 @ 10:31 AM
@hadenough.i am in the same boat (I am officially walking away from my only daughter ).because (I refuse to go to court to see my own daughter why do I have to ?.doesnt make (common sence )to me but as everyone says I am (weird ).so I guess I am like Timmy I spoke to him and yeah we are brothers and on the same (page 100 percent )I guess it has something to do with the (shark )and our older relatives and our (beliefs and what we stand for ).and i truly believe (in it )and won’t change and be a (sell out) like (Dan) .and like the (wannabes )that try and be like as .the mother off my daughter is (no better then a common night worker )and I refuse to (bow to her or take her to court ).for years she walked on me belittling me (not now ).she can have her (daughter )and her partner can( rasie her and pay ).and if he was a (men )he would have come after I challenged him in messages coward .only like to talk it up in front off women and in the safety off he lounge room .yeah he be able to teach my daughter a lot ha ha (not).
C.laurie - 16-Feb-19 @ 6:50 PM
Sorry, I forgot to add my question. How can I legally stop my ex from asking out 7 year old daughter to ask questions about my partners life? Do me and my partner not have rights to a private life? How can we enforce this? Is there some kind of Cease & Desist letter a police officer, solicitor or court can send? I've just got off the phone to West Midlands police, they already have the incidents from 2014 where the police spoke to my ex explaining that he cannot ask questions about my private life (where I was living at the time), there was also a non-molestation order made in 2012-2013 as I was a witness to a crime he committed while serving in N.I.
HadEnough - 15-Feb-19 @ 4:08 PM
My ex block me almost 2 monthshe won’t leet me see my son they only I think she fund some one els my son only 11 month miss hem so much
Ziko - 13-Jan-19 @ 10:36 PM
My children from a previous marriage have been living with me and my new wife since June 2016 and moving back to the the UK. She has now imposed with moving 3 minutes walk away and is has brainwashed the kids to be moving in with her. It has only just come to light that there has been another man in her life for the last year. whilst i am happy for her to be moving on, i was not aware that my young boys have and will have another man under the same roof. My ex also has made it a mission for me not to find out until now. Is this scenario viewed as deceit in the eyes of the law? And given my ex does not have a stable home and extended family what are my options on continuing to be the main carer of the children? Note that the divorce was simply a divorce without any other pre conditions or custudy undertaken whilst living abroad. She has never paid any alomony and has clearly made the children lie to me about this new man in her home. Please can someone advice what i should do? My new wife loves the kids and has truely mothered them in the deepest and most sincere way and is upset about the lies and deceit. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
admiralgeneral - 5-Jan-19 @ 12:03 AM
Hi ime tina ime 41 I have come out of a 6year relationship on and off. Over a year and a half ago. We have a beautiful six Yr old son together. We have been through court for contact issues as my son did not want to go to his dad's weekends. My son was 3/4 then. He's OK about going now there's a court order his dad kept breech ING. When his dad picks him up for contact he's still hostile towardse. I've done the no contact rule for my self and blocked him this seems to have made things worse. He was controling and minipulating at one pint he was going through my phone messages he dident find nothing. This led to a massive brake up becouse he was trying to accuse me of speaking to a good friend of mine who's been in the family for years when I was growing up. This led to him leaving me and putting his hands on me. He ended the relationship with me leaving our son behind. Its been a year and a half now I tryed to sort things out with him rather than someone new he was being pig headed about his self. So I asked him to givee closure he couldn't I asked him if he dident love me anymore he couldn't answer non of it. All he said was stop backing him in a corner. So after that I blocked him after him blaming me for everything him trying to wind me up with txt messages. I haven't been in contact with him since two weeks. Apart from him dropping my son back home. He saw me with a gentleman two weeks ago through the window. Since then he picked my son up for contact and he said to me out the blue your gutted you are I asked him what he meant by that he just said I don't want to be with you no more. I asked him that two weeks ago like. I found out after my son came back from contact that daddy's got a girlfriend. How's he suddenly got a girl in two weeks of him saying he was on his own and just goes to work and back. Hours chatting on the phone. Becouse he saw a guy in my house he said to my son its ok son daddy will have a girlfriend next time you come what's going on here can someone please tell me
Tee - 6-Nov-18 @ 2:59 PM
@sasha.all (I smell in your post is bs ).oh you really want your ex and daughter to have a relationship?and you poor innocent thing you never stopped them getting to no each other and you want him to put her first?and you only wish he was questioning everything about you ?and loved your tear jerker line can he not see the effect it has on his only daughter back to Mumsnet for you girly I smell a con a mile away .
Grey - 26-Oct-18 @ 6:06 PM
I’m the mother of a 13 year old. Ex and i split over a year ago,and I honestly thought we would be able to co-parent in unison. How wrong was I. When my ex asked if we should try again and I said no, he made sure that he’d pay me back no matter what. Took up with a woman (whose marriage broke down due to her affairs, taking her daughter on their dates) immediately and moved in seven weeks later...even though she isn’t someone I’d want near my daughter, I never stopped them getting to know each other. At that time our daughter started having panic attacks,and anxiety. Tests at doctors,weekly visits to a child therapist. Daughter found it all too much,and ex agreed their holiday would be just them two. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case,and our daughter was put in a situation where she had to endure the OW and her much older daughter. When she got home she was so distraught that her dad had lied to her.,that she came to the conclusion her dad just wasn’t the Man she thought he was. She told him she wanted nothing to do with that part of his life and was unhappy he lied. As her mum I made excuses for him, tried to explain,adults don’t always get it right,but dad loves you etc....at this point in time,she plays her face when she has to see him. Won’t stay over with him anywhere ( at one point he was booking hotels for them to spend time together). He’s constantly questioning her about me ( which I’ve asked him to stop) and was stalking me up until recently,when i had to get the local police to have a word in his ear. I really do want my daughter and her dad to have a good relationship, but at what price.? Her therapist wants her to ask dad to attend ameeting but she doesn’t want him there, says it’s because of him she has a therapist. It’s a real mess, and my ex minimises everything. I so want his BS to end and for him to really put her first,and what she’s going through..he’s constsntly going on about money,and he pays too much,even telling our daughter the same...can he not see the effect this has on his only daughter? thank-you for listening any advice would be appreciated.
Sasha - 26-Oct-18 @ 4:30 PM
Hello, What do i do if the new partner is claiming he is a parent of our child. The relationship is 2 years old and they keep Gouding me with this. They keep bad mouthing me to our child and my child is starting to imitate their language towards me. When I asked him to go stand by his coach incase he is called on the child said "you can't force me to do it" this language is something his mother says when I'm refused contact "he does not want to go and I'm not forcing him" this partner has verbally assaulted me at the football matches when the family court have ordered me to attend and he keeps ensuring that my child doesn't speak to me and tries to keep him away from me when I attend. I'm fed up of all the hostility and arguements and feel that the situation is getting worse and our child is in the middle of it all and it's very upsetting for me, I have tried talking to them but they keep insisting on conflict instead of resoloution.
Jay - 8-Oct-18 @ 12:51 PM
Grant - Your Question:
Hi, my ex has gone on holiday with her new partner and has taken my daughter along. Good yes. I’m fine with that. Here’s the rest. Our split was after years of bad feeling, a real breakdown. Mistakes had been made and never forgotten. It was the right thing to do. I mate is amicable. Left the home with nothing just shared access with my daughter. It’s been two years now. I’ve helped with money as much as possible and things, with a few moments, have gone relatively smoothly. A few months ago she asked for help with money to go away on holiday. Cyprus where her sister lives. Can I pay for the daughters flights. No problem. Then can I pay for the exes flights, and she’ll pay me back her part. If I say no then the daughter can’t go, so fine. She has not paid the money back. In between then and now she has met a new fella. He books flights to Cyprus and they have gone together with my daughter. I have paid for my ex to go on holiday with her new boyfriend of a couple of months. I am raging and can’t control how angry I’ve gotten. Any thoughts on how I can handle this? When they back I don’t know what I’m going to do.

Our Response:
If you have evidence that your ex said she will pay you back, then you can take the matter to the small claims court, please see the link here.
SeparatedDads - 9-Aug-18 @ 11:33 AM
Hi, my ex has gone on holiday with her new partner and has taken my daughter along. Good yes. I’m fine with that. Here’s the rest. Our split was after years of bad feeling, a real breakdown. Mistakes had been made and never forgotten. It was the right thing to do. I mate is amicable. Left the home with nothing just shared access with my daughter. It’s been two years now. I’ve helped with money as much as possible and things, with a few moments, have gone relatively smoothly. A few months ago she asked for help with money to go away on holiday. Cyprus where her sister lives. Can I pay for the daughters flights. No problem. Then can I pay for the exes flights, and she’ll pay me back her part. If I say no then the daughter can’t go, so fine. She has not paid the money back. In between then and now she has met a new fella. He books flights to Cyprus and they have gone together with my daughter. I have paid for my ex to go on holiday with her new boyfriend of a couple of months. I am raging and can’t control how angry I’ve gotten. Any thoughts on how I can handle this? When they back I don’t know what I’m going to do.
Grant - 8-Aug-18 @ 3:16 PM
@NM Thanks for your reply. Their is absolutely no need for my ex to feel threatened. He should be happy that his children have another loving adult in their lives. Our household is firm and secure for our 4 children and that is all any parent should want. But, im sad to say, i know it wont be long before he finds something else ridiculous to target us about. Thanks for reading x
blueblack - 28-Jun-18 @ 4:52 PM
@blueblack - seems pretty one sided to me. If he was a confident parent he would be happy to share. Maybe he just doesn't like your partner - but it sounds more like an alpha male testosterone thing. You know what men are like when faced with other men......ridiculous!
NM - 28-Jun-18 @ 1:54 PM
@Ben J Thank you for your reply. All this anger really hurts me. i think my ex would definatly prefer i was single which is a shame hed wan that for me. It just seems that my ex is ok with my h2b providing financial support for his children but would prefer they didnt form any emotional bond whereas my ex considers his w2b to be "best friends" with my children. why can it be ok for them but not ok for us? It just doesnt seem fair especially when i try to stick up for my relationship he states that im not supporting his relationship with his children. Surely as long as i dont hinder their contact either in person or phone etc then i dont actually need to re einforce anything. He shouldnt need me to if hes doing enough? thanks agen for reading x
blueblack - 26-Jun-18 @ 4:03 PM
@blueblack - People think in different ways and your ex husband obviously feels threatened. Time my heal this rift and the dislike for your husband to be. You could write your ex a letter explaining that he will always be the kids dad and you will make all the effort you can to ensure the relationship with his kids continues and that he will always be the main focus. But, he also has to meet you halfway. If he doesn't and continues to be narrow-minded about this there is not much you can do (what does he expect you to do, remain single for the rest of your life?) You can't please all of the people, all of the time. It would be nice to have a 'happy' divorce- some people can manage it, some can't.
BenJ - 26-Jun-18 @ 11:24 AM
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