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When Your Ex Gets a New Partner

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 22 Mar 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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[Add a Comment]
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
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
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
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
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
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