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When Your Ex Gets a New Partner

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 15 Sep 2018 | 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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cynh - 21-Aug-18 @ 11:07 AM
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
Here is my story .my ex had numerous affairs and (unfortunately I had a child to it ).now I have girlfriend and I have told her the truth and how I feel about my ex and even if I seen her in the street I would walk the other way gods truth .now I have no feelings for my child what so ever and never want to meet her in my life .now my girlfriend thinks that’s wrong and tries to make me see differently.if I am completely honest I want surname removed I do not class that kid mine in any way shape or form .is there a way for a non-resident parent( father)with no contract to Legally change surname on birth certificate and terminate there own rights ?.this is a legitimate question .its not about getting out ofchild support she never wanted it .i just dont want to be tried to the girl her mother is a parasite and so is her child.
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kate332 - 3-Jul-18 @ 8:17 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
Advice for needed please... divorced for 6 years . both getting re married soon after 5 year relationships. ex husband HATES my h2b with a passion feeling that he is trying to take his place. This is not the case as my h2b would not allow that for his own child. He accepts i am remarrying but i feel this anamocity will never end and i also feel that is unjustified.My h2b is is a good man and works very hard to provide for us all which i think my ex should be pleased about but he sees it as my h2b trying to take over him as a dad. My h2b will not be "dad" to my kids he will be my husband. My kids all love him but ex cant/wont accept that he make us all happy including his children. How can i create peace here? TIA
blueblack - 25-Jun-18 @ 8:29 AM
@catchme,that is a whole different story for a different blog and would take days to explain...lol
Chase - 22-Jun-18 @ 12:12 AM
@chase .it is the only solution.its only hard if you let it be mate .
Catch me - 21-Jun-18 @ 6:28 AM
Thank you @catchme. Extremely tough to do but may be the only solution....
Chase - 21-Jun-18 @ 3:47 AM
@chase .if I was you I would be happy for your x that she found someone to support her and look after her and treat her well and your child .i know it hard but your child is 17 come on mate let her have some fun and cash in to why she can .your her father she will come around and see you again .god bless .
Catch me - 20-Jun-18 @ 1:39 AM
So my ex and I separated after her affairs,she now is engaged to our old neighbor who has 30 mil in the bank.They spoil my daughter like crazy and I cannot play that game. My ex even planned fathers day away with him to keep her away from me.I fear I am losing my daughter for good,she is 17 and now has the party house and trips and money to do whatever she wants. I do not know how to rebuild a father daughter relationship that she is clearly not wanting now that she is allowed to do whatever she wants. help
Chase - 20-Jun-18 @ 12:30 AM
Linda - Your Question:
Question!! So I have been with my boyfriend for about 2 years now and we live together. His ex wife hates me and now is threatening him with taking him to court because she doesn’t want there son around me. What legally can she do about this ?! I’ve never don’t anything wrong to there child and I have children of my own that live with us. Please help with some advice.

Our Response:
Unless your boyfriend's ex can prove that the child is in danger when in your care, there is little she can do. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order.
SeparatedDads - 11-Jun-18 @ 11:12 AM
Question!!So I have been with my boyfriend for about 2 years now and we live together. His ex wife hates me and now is threatening him with taking him to court because she doesn’t want there son around me. What legally can she do about this ?! I’ve never don’t anything wrong to there child and I have children of my own that live with us.Please help with some advice.
Linda - 10-Jun-18 @ 6:29 PM
ScaredDad - Your Question:
So my ex-wife and I that are not divorced yet have been separated for a year and a half. She’s been seeing someone for a year and he is moving into the house and now she is asking that on her days that she her boyfriend watch our 4 year old. I’m having a real hard time still letting another man watch my son as I have never met him so I am meeting him tomorrow night for the first time. I’m really nervous and scared. I’m having a real hard time as to letting another man watch my son as I have never met him so I meeting him tomorrow night for the first time. I’m really nervous and scared. The days he would watch my son he would have his 1 year old daughter as well. Please help! What questions should I be asking him?

Our Response:
The fact your ex is allowing you to meet her new partner could be seen as a positive move, as she does not have to do this and is under no obligation to share this decision with you. Therefore, the link here may help. The best way of approaching this is to not see your ex's partner as a threat and to see him as someone helping out you and your ex. Gut instinct about the man will pay a big part, in which case you may need to ask only a few basic questions. Also, offering to help out when and where you can step in may be a good move on your part. If you can establish a good relationship with both your ex and her partner based on what you think is in the best interests of your kids will make things much easier all round. If you don't like your ex's new partner, then you would have to be honest with yoru ex and see if there is another way around it and this is where mediation may help.
SeparatedDads - 24-May-18 @ 11:28 AM
So my ex-wife and I that are not divorced yet have been separated for a year and a half. She’s been seeing someone for a year and he is moving into the house and now she is asking that on her days that she her boyfriend watch our 4 year old. I’m having a real hard time still letting another man watch my son as I have never met him so I am meeting him tomorrow night for the first time. I’m really nervous and scared.I’m having a real hard time as to letting another man watch my son as I have never met him so I meeting him tomorrow night for the first time. I’m really nervous and scared. The days he would watch my son he would have his 1 year old daughter as well.Please help! What questions should I be asking him?
ScaredDad - 23-May-18 @ 5:39 AM
Marky - Your Question:
I have full custered of my daughter who lives with me full time done by the court My ex girlfriend as a new partner she as been with him more then 5 years now they are not married okWhen we have school meetings about our daughter my ex partner brings her new partner to the meetingsWitch the school allows it is there any way I can get that stopped or can I obtain a letter from some where To have this stopped

Our Response:
You can write to the school and request that only those with parental responsibility of your child should be allowed to parents evenings/meetings. If the school refuses, then your only option would be to apply to court. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order.
SeparatedDads - 11-May-18 @ 11:21 AM
Tich - Your Question:
Hi ive been split from my ex for three months and she has recently started seeing someone else witch I was happy to c her move on but then I found out this guy has been in and out or prison for assault and drug use and dealing would a court put an order in place to stop him been around my kids as I feer for ther safety with drug been used around them have tryed talking to my ex about it but got nowher

Our Response:
If your ex refuses to discuss the matter, your next option is to suggest mediation as a way of trying to resolve your concern, please see link here. If your ex refuses to attend mediation, then see the link here, which should help you further. As in all cases, the court’s main concern is the welfare of the child in question. The court will always put the child’s best interests first and this main issue will determine the outcome of any application for an order.
SeparatedDads - 11-May-18 @ 9:57 AM
Hi ive been split from my ex for three months and she has recently started seeing someone else witch I was happy to c her move on but then I found out this guy has been in and out or prison for assault and drug use and dealing would a court put an order in place to stop him been around my kids as I feer for ther safety with drug been used around them have tryed talking to my ex about it but got nowher
Tich - 10-May-18 @ 4:45 PM
I have full custered of my daughter who lives with me full time done by the court My ex girlfriend as a new partner she as been with him more then 5 years now they are not married ok When we have school meetings about our daughter my ex partner brings her new partner to the meetings Witch the school allows it is there any way I can get that stopped or can I obtain a letter from some where To have this stopped
Marky - 10-May-18 @ 9:21 AM
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blessing365 - 7-May-18 @ 12:24 PM
upi - Your Question:
I've been split up with my ex wife for 5 years and no I've got in a relationship with someone I've only been with this girl for 2 months but known her for years I introduced my kids to my new gf and my ex has told me I'm not allowed to let her see them unless I've been with her for 8 months or I can't see the kids she has moved in with her new bf can see do this

Our Response:
Decisions such as this are decided between the parents, there are no rules either way. If you cannot agree between you, then mediation is the next option with court always seen as the last resort. Please see link here.
SeparatedDads - 20-Feb-18 @ 12:56 PM
I've been split up with my ex wife for 5 years and no I've got in a relationship with someone I've only been with this girl for 2 months but known her for years I introduced my kids to my new gf and my ex has told me I'm not allowed to let her see them unless I've been with her for 8 months or I can't see the kids she has moved in with her new bf can see do this
upi - 19-Feb-18 @ 6:59 PM
@Chip - While some fathers may try to keep a current partner secret because they live in fear of their ex's restricting access to their children (especially if their ex's have been previously unpredictable in this way), this is a little different in that your partner is trying to stop his ex from moving on. This is unfair, especially as he has moved on (one rule for one, should allow the same rule for the other). If his ex moves on and meets someone else, as you say, this does not mean that someone else will replace him in his children's affections. So, his actions are quite selfish here on several counts. As in all advice, rational communication is key here. But, for yourself and your own peice of mind, you may wish to consider a deadline to this situation i.e that if he doesn't come clean about seeing you, then you will yourself move on. As soon as I knew the relationship was serious with my new g/f I told my ex and my kids met her after four months. I'm not saying I'm perfect, but it seems that your OH is playing both you and his ex :(
JacOV - 19-Jan-18 @ 3:15 PM
Hi there, I'm hoping you can help. I've been seeing a separated dad for 10months now and although I've met his family, he still hasn't told his ex about me. When I've asked him about it he finally admitted that he's scared that if he tells her he's met someone that she'll rush out and find someone new who will replace him as a father to his 2 children. He's reassured me that her moving on isn't an issue for him but the thought of him being replaced as a father kills him. I've tried to reassure him that that will never be the case because the bond he has with them is incredible but I'm at a loss as to what else to do. I want to support him as best as I can but I also want to feel like we're leading a normal relationship whereby I don't have to feel like a secret. Not to mention that I want to be a part of his children's lives but I can't until his ex knows about me which I feel is the decent thing to do. It's really starting to cause tension and that's the last thing I want. Any thoughts or advice on this please? Even if it's just pointing us in the direction of reading material... I'll take anything.
Chip - 19-Jan-18 @ 9:02 AM
TommyG - Your Question:
My ex partner left me around 5 months ago. Taking my then 1 year old daughter with her. One day she decided she wanted a break, in the next few weeks she had moved out completely. She has now entered into a new relationship. All through the split up we talked amicably and agreed that a new partner is not to be introduced straight away and that we would talk through it when that situation arises. I then find out that after two dates with this new partner, my daughter was introduced and he had stayed over with her. They are currently six weeks into a relationship, where he not only stays almost every night, but has also been left alone with my daughter when the ex has gone to work in the evening. I have expressed my concerns with this behaviour and have been completely ignored. I have my daughter 6 nights out of 14, more than enough time for my ex to get to know her new partner a bit better.Is there anything I can do about this? This new partner could be a completely reasonable guy, but I do not believe six weeks is enough to get to know someone well enough to leave your 1 and a half year old with.

Our Response:
Unless you can agree between yourselves, then your only option would be to suggest mediation, please see link here. It is understandable that you are concerned, but you also have to ask whether you think your ex would leave your child with someone she did not trust. Likewise, if you wish to prevent this, you could request that you have your child on the nights your ex works. The best way through such disagreements if via negotiation, please see link here , where you can both come to a trusting and mutual agreement first. Your only other option, if you cannot agree via mediation, is court and court really is only considered as a last option when all other lines of mutual communication have failed.
SeparatedDads - 16-Jan-18 @ 3:07 PM
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