I'm sorry you are dealing with this OP.
Your situation reminds me of @Nomorebeans
, hopefully she will see the tag and pop in with some advice. She has dealt with it better than I ever could have.
But I don't know that I have dealt with it all that well, honestly. I hate the thought of my son spending any amount of time with my ex's AP, with whom my ex now lives 10 minutes away from us, but I don't say anything to either of them about that. My son (14 years old) doesn't like spending time with her, either - he says she's nice enough to him, but that it's "awkward and weird" being with his Dad when she's there, too.
He really only stays with them if I have to go out of town for work or an extended family thing, which fortunately is not that often, or every once in a great while when my ex is off from work and he is off from school. He's going to be spending tonight with them, in fact, and I feel slightly sick about it. He doesn't really want to, but his Dad has made him feel like he kind of has to every once in a while. While I think he's wrong to do that, to his credit, he at least is trying to remain a regular part of his life. And is at least is "sensitive" enough to limit the amount of time he has to be around her. He'll come pick him up at around dinner time today, and they'll meet her out for dinner somewhere near where they live, then go back to their house separately. My ex and son will watch the basketball game together while she does something else. Then, they'll go to bed, they'll do something in the morning without her, and he'll drop him back off here later in the day while I'm at work.
I don't know this woman and have never met her. Kind of hope I never have to, but they've now been living together since last September, and although my ex has actually complained about her to me fairly recently, I don't imagine they'll be ending things any time soon. I've at least never had to pick our son up or drop him off at "their" house - my ex has always done all that.
I hate her. I really do. I'm tired of people telling me it's my ex I should be angry with, not her. I know I should be angry with him, and I am. Furious, really. But I hate her, too. She continued to actively pursue him when he was trying to cool things off with her before I found out about her, knowing full well he was long-married with a young teenage son. I think she's a selfish wh0re who was so desperate to not be alone (she was widowed when she met my ex) that she was more than willing to take someone else's husband and f*** up his young son's life. That's not a good person. I still believe that if I ever ran into her socially, I'd be hard-pressed not to punch her right in the face, let alone be civil and gracious. (But, in all reality, I probably would at least be civil - it's not really in my nature to be violent or even just b!tchy, even when it's sorely deserved.)
I'm sorry your kids are going through this. I'm sorry my kid is going through this. Don't ever beat yourself up for being angry with your ex and this - person - he is with now. You have every right to be. And I'm certainly not going to tell you what you should and shouldn't share with your own kids. Many people tried to tell me how I should never badmouth my ex or his GF to my son. I actually don't, but not because they told me so - because I know my son, and I know it would upset him to know how really seethingly angry I still am with both of them. Instead, I try never to mention her to him at all - kind of like not dignifying her existence with any acknowledgement or response. And he doesn't mention her to me. Maybe we're just a couple of fools living in Denial Land, I don't know. I've let him know that if he ever wants to talk about how he feels about it all, he can always come to me, and he says he knows he can. That's about all I can do, other than try to stay positive and strong, so he always knows he can count on me.
But this all really, really sucks. I feel for you and your kids. I especially understand your feeling that it's the life you used to have (and the future you thought you would have) that you miss - not the man. Right there with you. My ex didn't just remove himself from my life - he took away the dream I had of spending the rest of my life with this person I thought was my best friend and who would always have my back, and who I was willing to take care of in his old age. But the thing is, he wasn't my best friend - he wasn't my friend at all. He slept next to someone for 26 years that he never really knew at all. I realize now that I did the same. It may not sound like it should, but it helps to know that.