Today I feel like I am being asked to tear myself in two. Summer vacation starts today, which means I'll have my kids with me pretty constantly. C is passing through town Friday and we thought it would be fun to check out a houseboat, since he's still thinking he might like to buy one near here to be able to spend more time in the city. My kids and I have never been on a houseboat, so it would be fun for them to come along.
I mentioned this to my husband, and he opposed it, saying C doesn't have the right. After some conversation he decided it would be ok this time, as long as they don't go again if he actually buys one. He doesn't want them in any home of his. He doesn't want them doing fun activities with C and me at all, it seems. I don't know what to do about this. I had given up intimacy with C in January when my husband said he didn't want the kids to be around him at all if we were intimate. I couldn't stand the thought of someone I love not being allowed to know my kids, who are central to my life. He revised that to deciding they could be around him, but I shouldn't ask the two men to socialize together. We have had that arrangement for 3 or 4 months now and I thought it was working fine.
Now I feel again like I have to have the kids treat C like some different category of friend, someone they aren't allowed to get close to. This doesn't sit well with me at all. At 5 and 9, my kids are a huge part of my life, and I want C to know them. He's also someone I want them to know. He's intelligent, one of the kindest people I know, and he has some hobbies that I think the kids would find interesting -bird-watching, photography, hiking, painting. My husband says no, he doesn't want C taking them out in a boat or canoe, for example, because that's something he wants to do with them. He has never done this with them. I'm worried that I'll spend the whole summer keeping the kids at home to protect them from having fun with people other than their dad, who has to work full time. I might only get to see C two or three times this summer, but when he's here I'd love to think we could do something really fun with the kids. Instead, my husband would rather work from home and have the kids laze around the house while he "lets" me go spend the time with C without them. I'll go off on a bird-watching hike and come home with a camera full of photos and a bucket of huckleberries for the kids, and they can tell me what TV shows they watched while they were being carefully shielded from the harm of spending time with C. And I can thank my husband for babysitting.
I'm sad and angry. I don't see how the kids are harmed by having fun with C. It's not as if they were taking that time away from their dad. I can't keep living my life in these separate pieces, though. Fine if my husband won't befriend C, but can't the kids choose for themselves if they enjoy his company or not? How important is it to their well being that they feel a wall between themselves and C that isn't there for anyone else? How much suspicion and distrust and taboo do we need to build around him for the children's sake?
Married to a monogamous man 15 yrs, mother of 2, dating C 3 yrs, and in a romantic friendship with L more than 20 yrs