So, I moved in with my partner and her two kids around 4 months ago. Things have been great between all of us so far, not even close to any of the difficulties I expected. My relationship with her I stronger than ever and we work well as a team.
Now, their dad lives close by on an old rundown farm. He decided a few months ago he wasn't going to have them to stay with him because he didn't think he should provide us with "free childcare", then decided he'd have them to stay once or twice, but then had to cancel a few times due to not having water, too overgrown, too hot etc etc. We've been fine with that as tbh we're both not convinced how safe it is for them to be up there anyway.
Last week it was arranged he'd pick them up from the house and have them to stay bringing them back 4 days later. He turned up early walked in and said he needed to charge his phone, we were in the middle of charging things up for the kids as chances are he wouldn't have a proper power supply at his for them to use, so asked him to wait. He got a bit agro then left. Two minutes later he came back, had a go at my partner for causing trouble, then said he wouldn't be taking the kids because of her. He then spent the next 24 hours sending a stream of messages accusing her of everything under the sun.
So, roll on this week and he wants to see them again, just a visit so will be his standard few hours with them. My parter replied that we would meet him in town with the kids, he's blown up over it saying there's no reason for her to be like this or to stop him coming round.
We're both worried about what he's going to say to the kids, they love him and are so impressionable, but my partner (and me) have both avoided saying anything negative about him at all. He obviously thinks the complete opposite.
My main thing is how (and should) we approach the kids about this, I'm really conscious that he's being allowed to go unchallenged in whatever it is he's saying.
The other thing is that he's completely impossible to reason with, anything she says to him is taken as bullying or causing a fight, it's crazy.
Your approach to the kids is dependent on their age, the older they are the more open you can be... as long as you don't bad mouth their dad, that's never a good move... but from what you've said, you wouldn't do that anyway. In my opinion, the kids should be kept out of this situation, it's an adult issue. You can't control what he says... it better to give them lots of reassurance and listen if they need to talk.
He shouldn't be playing games, or be allowed to walk into your home. He's obviously been able to do that until you came on the scene and he doesn't like that things have changed. It's a matter of control, he feels like he's losing that and is hitting back by behaving badly.
He is using the kids and his contact as some kind of bargaining tool, that's not acceptable and I feel that you both need to put some boundaries in place... he's not going to like it, but that's tough!
The abusive calls also have to stop, if it continues your partner would be within her rights to ask the police to ask him to stop... she could take an injunction out on him and it's something to consider if he won't back off. Although that kind of involvement could escalate the ill feeling... as a last resort maybe.
The kids would benefit from a regular routine of contact with their Dad, so I would suggest that she tries mediation to get some agreement in place. Set days and times, so that everyone knows where they stand and the kids have a good routine.
I would suggest your partner gets a new cheap phone, and give him this number (and block his number from his existing phone) so that she can choose when the new phone is switched on, and when to ignore it, and certainly don't allow him into the house for any reason - he has absolutely no right to be in the house without invitation.