I am a widow with no children. I have been dating a man for over a year now who has two children (14 and 18). We are in a committed relationship. He has been divorced for 5 years. He and his ex wife continue to get together for holidays, birthdays, family reunions, special occasions with the children (I am not included). I do not like this and have let him know. He tells me that it is “for the children” and his counselor does not see the issue I have with this. I see it as divorce is divorce and their “family” time is over…any thoughts on this?
I wish you had explained why you don’t like him getting together with his ex and children. Since you didn’t I’m going to assume that you feel threatened by the fact that he still has a relationship, of sorts with his ex. Forgive me if I’m wrong!
I agree with his counselor and don’t see a problem. I will go as far as saying that you should count your blessings and will hopefully give you a new perspective on what is happening and the kind of man you have attached yourself to. Research shows that parents who can be civil with each other and get along have children who suffer fewer negative effects of divorce. He sounds like a man who feels it is very important to do what is best for his children. His children are still his “family” and any man with character and integrity will continue to do what is best for his children whether he remains married to their mother or not.
You are viewing the situation as being about him and his ex BUT it isn’t. It is about him and his ex doing for their children and divorced or not there will always be that connection between the two of them. They will now and forever have love for their children in common and that is a powerful tie to have with someone. There will be graduations, weddings, grand babies born and any number of reasons he and his wife will need to share space and time in the future and do so in a civil manner for the sake of their children. Wouldn’t you rather attach yourself to a man who can be civil to the mother of his children than to one who refuses to socialize with the mother of his children? How he treats her is an indication of how he will treat you in the future…just something to think about.
My advice to you is to make friends, follow his lead where his ex is concerned and be civil. If this man has been divorced for 5 years and has a close relationship with his children you pushing him to stop spending “family time” with them and their mother is not going to end well for you. You will push until you push him right out of your life and I’m sure that is not what you want.
All that being said, if he refuses to include you in these get togethers once you two are married this is a sign of trouble. That is what you should be discussing with him now, before the marriage. Because only then will you, in my opinion have a right to an opinion. You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar Brenda and I suggest you tell him that you respect him for doing what he feels is right for his children then add, “I’m looking forward to being part of it all once we are married.”
If he is not open to including you once you are married then there is a problem that needs to be discussed and I suggest you do so with his therapist. For now though, I see no problem with the situation and if you handle it correctly you will probably become part of a “family” that will bring you joy for years to come.