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Thread: Help setting boundaries with soon to be ex

  1. #1
    Wicky1955
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    Help setting boundaries with soon to be ex

    Background: My wife and I have been together for 15 years and have decided to divorce. I have two boys from a prior marriage, she has none. We recently signed our property settlement agreement and I will be keeping the house and our two dogs.

    Over the past month, as we worked on our property settlement, several issues have come up on how we move forward. One of the biggest issues relates to the dogs. During our year plus separation, she has requested to stop by and walk the dogs a couple times a week. I have been very considerate and do my best to accommodate her. She requested, and I agreed to split all dog related expenses moving forward.

    In addition to the dog expenses, she recently told me there was no need for me to open a new COSTCO account, as she would be happy to take me if needed. She also offered to pay me $200 per month to manage her 457K plan.

    My female friends tell me she is just looking for a way to hang on. I am not interested in maintaining a friendship post divorce, but I am unsure of how to set healthy boundaries.

    I'm sure many of you have been there done that. Advise please.

  2. #2
    j.man
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    I'd actually do some research on the psychological effects on a dog with a previous owner sporadically popping in after extended absences. I know it'd be hard for your ex, but it's most likely in the dog's best interest she completely fade away.

    And while many former couples might be able to amicably negotiate transactions like her paying you to handle an account, if you know or even think you wouldn't be comfortable with it, you can and should plainly say as much.

  3. #3
    Wiseman2
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    Sorry to hear this. Sever all things. Get your own costco account. Let her get a financial planner/stockbroker/ accountant. Divorce is sad but she must get used to being single and stop acting like a couple. Unfortunately your friends are right, she's hanging on and this will prevent you from moving forward or dating in the future. Stop letting her come to walk the dogs, pay for your dogs yourself. What if you want to date, how will you explain her showing up to new women?

  4. #4
    LHGirl
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    Your friends are right: she is looking for a way to hang on.

    And yes, jman is right: research the psychological effects of a dog sporadically seeing a previous owner. Dogs are not children; they do not understand logic.

    I recently ended an 18-month relationship with someone who dog-shares with his previous ex-wife. It became a nightmare, as her dog drop-offs morphed into other little things, just like yours is wanting, which then morphed into lots of texts, which morphed into all sorts of "emergencies". It was her way to hang on, and it became a huge sticking point in our relationship, as the further along we got, the more she'd interfere. I ended up leaving him, and this was a large part of it.

    The dog became more and more aggressive and withdrawn, to the point where this "sweet little doggie" snapped at me once. Apparently, the dog bit the girl he dated right after me as well. The dog became very lethargic, basically laying around all day, doing absolutely nothing, except when my ex would pay attention to it. The dog un-house trained itself, and began regularly relieving himself in the house, and he even snarled at my ex once when he tried to take a plastic toy out of his mouth, as the plastic was breaking apart....the dog ultimately had to have an 8" incision to remove it from his stomach.

    Make a clean break with her. Let her get a new dog and move on with her life.

  5. #5
    Andrina
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    The only thing I would agree to is the dog walking, and that would be if she's truly had a years- long bond with the dogs. (Assuming they aren't young dogs you've had for less than a year). And when she takes the dogs, I'd make the chats as brief as possible. With the dog-walking though, I do see a problem when you eventually start dating again. A new love interest won't be too happy about an ex doing this. Perhaps suggest that your ex get a new animal to fill the void, since she has the time to devote to having a pet.

  6. #6
    Wicky1955
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    Thanks J.Man..I watch the dogs interactions with her and I agree with the psychological effects in play. It very well may pan out that I have to tell her that dog visits are not in the dogs best interest. She is currently renting a room from a friend and I have told her that she needs to get a place where she can take the dogs for a few days when she wants. I think that may work as opposed to popping in now and then. As far as me handling her account, I don't think I will be comfortable with it and probably will tell her such. I don't think she accepts the "privacy clause" in the agreement and will not be pleased when I ask for her house key later this month after refi.

  7. #7
    Wicky1955
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    The dogs are 8 and 10 years old. The 8 year was a wedding gift from me to her as she wanted another dog. We bought a house together 15 years ago, but only been married 8 plus years. LHGIRL..funny you mention the house breaking..one of them has had two accidents in the house over the past month and I was thinking it might be a little protest piss.

  8. #8
    reinventmyself
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    There are many layers of detaching from a divorce.
    emotional, physical, financial, etc.
    I remember going through all of these, and yes sometimes one party wants to keep some symbolic form of attachment.
    People don't want to appear petty and kick someone off their Netflix account, even if it doesn't cost them anything.
    It is sad but it is ultimately best to server all ties and move on.

    I don't know the right way to share pets, though. So I can't comment on that.
    I will say that while my mom was in the hospital, I kenneled her dog at the vet promising to visit it everyday.
    The staff told me that it wasn't a good idea, that the dog would be stressed every time I leave and it would feel left behind and abandoned.

  9. #9
    melancholy123
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    I think she needs to get her own place and stop popping in and out of the dogs' lives. It must be confusing to them. I'm a total dog lover and I'd never agree to share them like that. Dogs like consistency and routine, which they won't get with this setup.

    She needs her own financial planner, other than you. I agree she's trying to hang on.

  10. #10
    Wicky1955
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    reinventmyself..Yes there are many layers of detaching during the divorce process. We both struggle with the emotional side of the breakup. We have been best friends for at least 15 years and none of this is easy. I understand that it is usually best to cut all ties, but easier said than done. I would hope that we could have a "how are you doing" now and then relationship moving forward, but I feel as though she wants/needs more than that. I see the dogs, Costco card and me managing her 457k plan as her way of staying a little closer to me. Just trying to see how others have handled similar situations. Thanks for your response.

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