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Dating Divorced Men with Children

Posted By: Loveslife

Dating Divorced Men with Children - 05/12/05 04:34 AM

To some, dating a divorced man with children may not be an issue. To me it's not the children that are an issue, it's the ex. What exactly is the appropriate relationship that I should accept between my new boyfriend and his ex? I truly know that they will never rekindle their relationship, but is there a time where they need to move on? I understand that they will always be in contact for the kids, but should I expect them to be friends? I find this a little overwhelming. The thought of having to meet his ex and her family. I'm only 28 myself and this is a first for me.

Is there a transition time between when a divorced man is single and when he starts dating (meaning cutting the ex out more)? Is there some kind of ettiquette? Please help...I'm trying to not be a silly jealous woman, but have some concerns as to the amount of contact and the relationship that should exist when couples divorce with children. Any advice from both sides would be appreciated. Thank you.
Posted By: joclyn

Re: Dating Divorced Men with Children - 06/12/05 08:50 PM

[color:"purple"]the kids didn't ask to be born and BOTH parents should be involved in their lives. it's best for the kids if the parents can get past the divorce and develop a good working friendship - makes it much easier to deal with things (good and bad) that arise from raising kids.

sounds like you're not ready to deal with this kind of situation. actually, if you've just met this guy, then the kids and the ex shouldn't even be an issue. you should be focusing on getting to know each other. meeting the kids should come only when (and if) you and he are going to move from a 'casual dating' situation to something more involved.

who has custody of the kids? how long have you been seeing this guy? [/color]
Posted By: conniem

Re: Dating Divorced Men with Children - 06/13/05 11:47 AM

My husband had custody of his two children when we started dating. He had custody of them since they were 2 and 3. He and the ex split up when the kids were 1 and 2. She finally told him if he paid child support to her he could keep the kids (without going back to court). After 3 years of paying child support he took her back to court and got full custody. We married when his kids were 9 & 10. My two were 3 & 9. We had horrible problems with the ex. She would come around once a year (we think she thought she couldn't be striped of her parental rights if she had contact once a year) and cause horrible problems. The kids just wanted to know their mom...she had broken off contact after my husband got custody of the kids. The youngest was in 1st grade when she met her mom. Anyway, the ex would get the kids for the weekend and they would come home with their heads full of weird ideas. "Mom said dad and her were going to get married and be a family again". When the youngest was a freshman she came and took her out of our house at 2 am and took her across the state line and called and demanded child support. Our daughter wanted to get to know her mom and so hubby told the ex, no child support, but our daughter could live with her if she wanted (we had a hard time making that decision, but we decided that if we said no she couldn't live with her it would make her want to live there even more). Once the ex realized he wasn't joking about no child support she brought her back and my daughter hasn't seen her since. My daughter is 19 now. She calls me mom and has always had a good relationship with me. The son on the other hand wanted to be with the mom. He finally decided this year (he is 20) that he didn't want to have her in his life anymore (not that she really was). We have a better relationship, but it is not great. Anyway, I think that if your boyfriend has a good relationship with the ex that is a good thing. They will always be the parents of their children and this will never change. Hopefully things for your ex aren't like things with my hubbys ex! Connie
Posted By: Bonniesa

Re: Dating Divorced Men with Children - 06/29/05 03:00 AM

Wow Connie that is an experience. Glad that the relationship with your son and daughter has been strong.

I have wanted to meet someone who has kids, but never did think about the ex and the question that was posted in this thread.

Good ideas to think about.
Posted By: musicalmom

Re: Dating Divorced Men with Children - 06/29/05 05:07 AM

It is definitely better for the kids if the parents can remain friends, that way they don't have to feel guilty or feel like they have to "choose sides". It also helps stabilize their world. "Well Mom and Dad split up, but they can get along, so maybe it won't be the end of the world after all."

But I have to agree with Joclyn, if you are just getting to know this guy, don't worry about the kids or the ex. Work on figuring out if you two are good together first. No sense getting all nervous about his ex's familyif you don't even know whether you can stand to be around him for more that 1 day! Of course, if his ex's family is at his house every time you come around.... that might be a little odd

My ex and I are friends, and I made a very forced effort to be friends with his wife (forced because she is who he left me for- but the kids don't know that and they like her). We live in different states so it is usually not an issue. Occasionally we'll have a birthday party where both sides will come, the grandparents are the funny ones, they're like roosters getting ready to attack! The only time my husband said he felt a little uncomfortable was when our son had a ruptured appendix. Of course everyone came to see him, and being Mom I WAS NOT leaving that hospital until he was (or until I passed out, whichever came first). So we got to see all of both families, my husband didn't stay the whole time, but he said it was a little strange getting introduced to people he really didn't have any interest in meeting. <img src="/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

BTW I tried to vote on your poll, but I can't figure out how to make it work! HELP! FYI I vote for the middle option (friends, but not best friends- that's just weird.)
Posted By: conniem

Re: Dating Divorced Men with Children - 06/29/05 12:06 PM

Good for you Michelle on making things work with the ex. I know it has been hard on our kids (the mother thing) and luckily it has been over a year since we heard from her. She just likes to call every now and again and stir things up. Things like "I am the one that deserves to have that nice house your dad has now". I am thinking geez, let it go already! There was a reason they broke up! It has been very hard on the kids trying to figure out why mom doesn't love them. She had 2 more kids after our two (I always call them "ours" as it seems like they have always been mine) and kept them. That has been confusing for the kids. I just figure she didn't have anyone to take them or she would've dumped them off on whoever would have taken them. They don't even call her mom now, they call her by her given name.

Connie
Posted By: musicalmom

Re: Dating Divorced Men with Children - 06/29/05 02:29 PM

That seems like the big difference in our situations; both their Dad and I genuinely love our children and are willing to put them first. Your children's "mother-unit" sounds like nothing more than an egg-donor who wants to reap the benefits due her of motherhood. Someone needs to tell her "Guess what girl, those benefits come with hard work, being there with your children through victories & vomit, and wanting them no matter what money's involved!"

When my daughter was 3 she had her first asthma attack, to make her breathing easier we "slept" on the couch with me sitting up and holding her in my arms so her air passages would stay open. Of course I didn't get any sleep. But I got to stroke my daughter's hair and kiss her, and cuddle her all I wanted at an age that is otherwise a whirlwind of hyperactivity. THAT'S the bitter-sweetness of motherhood.
Posted By: conniem

Re: Dating Divorced Men with Children - 06/30/05 10:47 AM

My youngest has asthma too. His problems started at birth. I remember the first asthma attack like it was yesterday. He sounded like a duck honking when he was breathing and was getting blue in the face. I drove 90 to nothing all the way to the er and my mom was with me and freaking out (mainly over my driving I think). She told me I would get a ticket and I told her they would have to catch me first!! The drs always told me he would improve with age. I never believed that, but it is true. He is so much better now and only has seasonal problems. Connie
Posted By: musicalmom

Re: Dating Divorced Men with Children - 06/30/05 06:16 PM

We figured if a cop pulled us over and heard Jordan's breathing, he'd give us an escort to the ER. He'd probably ticket us afterwards, but it would be worth the escort. Jordan's outgrown hers, too.
Posted By: Devizes

Re: Dating Divorced Men with Children - 12/31/07 09:14 PM

i know exactly where you are. i was in the same situation and felt anxiety about facing the ex. my fiance and i were together for a couple of months before i met her. it was overwhelming all at once and my fiance was still good friends with his wife, too good at times in my opinion. there is not an easy answer but i had to be honest with situations that i wasnt comfortable with and trust me they did happen. the biggest thing i would say is if you and this man become serious and that becomes a part of your life you will be able to work it out together. his relationship with her has changed since i have been in his life and that continues to change. most conversations now are about the kids. but it is a feeling that i cant describe when we all have to interact when the kids have events, there is times i want to melt into the floor. just know if he is worth it and you do get to that point you will be able to deal because you love him and he will be able to understand how it feels for you. hope this helps.
Posted By: emily_Barnes

Re: Dating Divorced Men with Children - 01/24/08 12:36 PM

Originally Posted By: joclyn
[color:"purple"]the kids didn't ask to be born and BOTH parents should be involved in their lives. it's best for the kids if the parents can get past the divorce and develop a good working friendship - makes it much easier to deal with things (good and bad) that arise from raising kids.

sounds like you're not ready to deal with this kind of situation. actually, if you've just met this guy, then the kids and the ex shouldn't even be an issue. you should be focusing on getting to know each other. meeting the kids should come only when (and if) you and he are going to move from a 'casual dating' situation to something more involved.

who has custody of the kids? how long have you been seeing this guy? [/color]

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Good luck!
Posted By: wanttobstronger

Re: Dating Divorced Men with Children - 10/18/08 04:44 PM

Since I posted the thread a lot has happened....We have had a big discussion about what it will take for us if we want to make this a permanent partnership.

He has been living with me for about 9 months and his boys(when he has them every other wkend and every Mon/thurs) since July. I have not asked for any money to help w/ the bills until last month. He seriously has not a pot to pee in and couldn't afford anything on his own since the divorce(final 1yr ago, which he got taken for a ride). Some changes need to be made for this to work and I have been completely raw,open and honest with him on what it will take for us to be together including compromises on both ends.

The ex and I get along and she has told me how much the boys like me and she appreciates that. She has no idea about how I feel about her(who I really have little respect for personally)or the issues my boyfriend and I have discussed. I want them/us to have a good relationship however, I don't feel they should be personal friends and chit chat on a daily basis(not involving the kids). The issues are more with him with just going along with the flow even he doesn't want to. He does not like confrontation and will make everyone happy before himself. But his life has changed and therefore situations need to follow that change. Things are going in the right direction and I'm trying to patient and let him do what it is he needs to.

Sorry this is a late post. Thanks for feedback.
Posted By: Vance - Crime Editor

Re: Dating Divorced Men with Children - 11/04/08 02:31 PM

Wouldn't life be easier if you and the bf/gf were friends with the ex?

I have heard of people complaining because of the drama with the ex and this is the first time I have heard people complaining about the ex being friends.

Your SO prolly shouldnt be talking to the ex everyday, especially when it takes time from you but I think life would be easier with the ex being friendly. Maybe you can talk to your SO about this and how you feel about him/her talking to the ex everyday and how it makes you feel uncomfortable but do not demand he/she stops talking to them because that will only cause animosity.

Wantobstronger - Does your bf work? If he does, why can he not help out with the bills? He is living with you and that should definitely take priority. You didn't give us any info about that.

There is another free dating site called Plenty of Fish



Posted By: k2y

Re: Dating Divorced Men with Children - 11/04/08 02:49 PM

I have to agree with Vance. Keeping things friendly with the ex is probably the way to go, especially since there are kids involved.

On the other hand, there is a big difference between keeping things friendly and being a little too friendly for comfort.

Wantobstronger, it sounds to me like you need to have a heart to heart with your bf and let him know how you are feeling about this and about the contributions he is or isn't making to the home you are sharing.

Remember that a relationship is a partnership so it's important to keep the lines of communication open and to keep things fair and balanced between you.
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