I’ve been separated since May 2008 and my divorce should be final soon. I began dating last year and earlier this year met and fell in love with a wonderful man.
We’ve been constant companions ever since. My soon-to-be-ex has issues with my boyfriend (they have never actually met) and has been interrogating my children (9 year old twins) about them, so much that my daughter has been in tears over this a few times.
I don’t want my kids to be put in a difficult position, but also know that I am not going to let my STBX intimidate me or make me feel like I’ve got to quit dating my BF.
My BF and I are planning our future together and he will be part of this whole crazy mix. My kids like him and enjoy spending time with him. Any suggestions how I can make this easiest for all of us to deal with.
You don’t mention whether or not you have attempted to speak with your ex about the matter or not or what the so-called “issues” are that are upsetting your ex? One of my favorite quotes is…”Do you love your kids more than you hate your ex?” Translation: always put aside your own personal feelings about your ex and prioritize the kid’s welfare.
This goes for both you and your ex. Your personal life is no longer your ex’s business and vice versa except if your personal life causes harm to the kids. Only you can answer that. Getting involved with a new partner after a year’s separation has allowed for a reasonable amount of time for you and kids to be used to your new reality.
We should never address our concerns or complaints about one another through our kids. It puts them in the middle where they do not belong and causes them distress. Not involving our kids in our own interpersonal struggles is one of the cornerstones of how to handle a divorce. If you cannot appeal to common sense or come to a mutual understanding about the children’s welfare then I would suggest that you both meet with a child psychologist and have this objective and qualified third party explain the particulars.
Oftentimes, our ex cannot hear what we are saying due to an emotional trigger but a third party can get through to them.
I did try and address the issue with my ex. He is difficult to get hold of (doesn’t answer his cell phone) so I left a message asking him to make time to talk with me and discuss this. I know that it is better to have things out in the open between us and keep the kids out of it.
That being said, I have no idea what his “issues” are. Just that he doesn’t like my BF (these are the words my kids used). There are no reasons that my new relationship should be harmful to my children.
I have spent a lot of time with my BF and my kids have as well with both of us. There are, however, safety concerns with my Ex (alcohol and anger issues – dealing with these through the courts currently). I think that maybe he sees my BF as competition in some way. I hope that he doesn’t still think we are ever getting back together. I have done nothing that would ever give him this impression.
He consistently puts the kids in these kinds of situations instead of dealing with me directly, even though I’ve repeatedly asked him not to do that. I can suggest some sort of mediator, but I know this will only work if he is forced to do it by his attorney. He would never agree to it otherwise.
Thank you for your response.
Sounds to me as if your ex needs some professional counseling, both for his own personal challenges and those that have to do with the children, and if the only way to do that is via legal means then so be it. The safety and well-being of your children is tantamount!
Shelley Stile is an ACC certified Divorce Recovery Life Coach and author who guides her clients to let go the pain of their divorce and move on to create new and vibrant lives after divorce. Shelley has been through her own divorce so she knows first-hand about the journey of divorce recovery. Receive her free, powerful e-book, The 10 Secrets to Coping with Divorce’, and her monthly ‘Take Back Your Life After Divorce’ Newsletter by going to: http://www.freedivorcesupport.com.
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