Originally Posted by Gigi123
The kid part is the toughest in all honesty
I completely understand. I feel like I can (and have) taken it and worked through it and know I'll be ok, but hate the hurt and impact it's having on my children, whether it's the near term-tears or the long-term behavior modeling.

Originally Posted by Gigi123
So every time they are back from H i spend a lot of time at bed time listening to s7.
That's great you're there for him. He needs that.

Originally Posted by Gigi123
So i guess H sees the situation very differently and most likely thinks that kids are ok and well adjusted now. What he doesnt get to see is tears at bed time at least a couple of times per week.
I don't know how ExW views the kid situation - whether she sees the tears and impact and thinks "they'll just get over it like I did" or whether the kids save that for my house - but have dealt with many crying/breakdowns including 2 mother's days ago when my son (then 4) was looking out the window crying he just wants to see mom on mother's day (don't know for sure, but now believe she was with OM2) or last Fall when he cried for 45 mins about missing mommy while I held him and he fell asleep in my arms. Who knows what your H or my ExW are seeing though, or if it even matters to them. They're probably telling themselves "It'll be better for the kids if I'm happy" to justify their actions, but who knows.

Originally Posted by Gigi123
Sometimes i think it would be good to tell him all of this, but then i also feel like its probably pointless and i would be breaking my sons confidence.
I have the same internal debate, and for better or worse decided to take the "probably pointless and don't want to betray the kids' confidence" approach. The last thing we want is for our kids not to feel comfortable talking to us.

Originally Posted by Sage4
1. Be the strong, stable parent who is always available to lend an ear when needed (you're nailing this one)
Completely agree! Keep it up!

Originally Posted by Gigi123
I wonder if i could get your views.
My personal view is you can't completely protect them from the impacts of your H's decisions. If he continues down this path there WILL be a legally binding agreement for them to stay over, so S7 will have to deal with it at some point. Without an agreement in place you may be able to stand firm for the moment and say "No, the kids are staying with me.". However, your H could then take the matter to court which would likely result in him having time. Have you consulted with a lawyer? If not, please do so (without H knowing!). It's all well and good to do it informally, but behind the scenes you should know your rights, and know how taking certain actions will play in court. Time to start protecting your interests.

In terms of the phone calls/Facetime, my ExW and I have had the policy the parents could call/video chat with the kids on "off" days, and I think that's best for the kids. But your H would have to agree to it in your current informal sitch.

Originally Posted by SteveLW
My W told me she used to ball and beg her mom not to send her to her dad's for court ordered visits. My W had to fly by herself as a minor as her dad lived out of state. She hated going. Unfortunately, that is part of D.
That's heartbreaking. Must've been so hard. Kids shouldn't be put through that situation.

Originally Posted by Gigi123
to be fair to H he probably feels frustrated and feels like letting S7 ring me just escalates things, the moment he sees me he sobs even more and just wants me to come and pick him up.
I think you're probably right about this. I know seeing (in person or briefly on facetime) can stir up emotions and make things harder in the moment. That said, ExW and I have been good about always allowing each other to talk/video chat with the kids when we're away and for the most part that's been a good policy for the kids.

Originally Posted by Gigi123
We dont have any court orders, nothing agreed through solicitors either, we are trying to work together for the benefit of the children and out agreement on days and night is very much based on what the boys wanted.
You're in a bit of a different situation in that your H moved out and you have no formal agreement. Not sure it changes how you should handle whether S7 goes with him or whether you can Facetime, but what's the current schedule, and have you explored with a lawyer how this will impact the eventual custody agreement? You want to position yourself to have the upper hand here if possible so you have the leverage and H doesn't pull anything down the road. Hate to be cynical, but protect your rights.

Me:39 Ex-W:37
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:3
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
W files for D: Jul20
OM2 confirmed: 9/2020
Divorced: May '21