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Is it possible to play nice...FOREVER?


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To be honest, it isn't usual to get divorced then spend a lot of time in each other's houses. Normally the children are exchanged back and forth according to the custody agreement. So you're stuck in a pseudo-divorce limbo, where you and he are divorced, but are treating the house as if you're still living together except for sleeping or working which can be very awkward.


So i think him spending all day and all evening in your house is probably too much... since you have no time alone in your own house. And how will this relationship work when one or the other of you start dating? Do you want him laying around on the couch while you and your boyfriend are there?


So i think it is time to work on an arrangement where you exchange your daugther and she spends time at both houses. It might involve a little more driving around, but it certainly doesn't put you in this 'non' divorced limbo with him at your house constantly.

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Ok, let's start at the beginning.

1. No one has "legal" custody. We are NOT divorced. Our daughter resides with me because a) this is the only home she has ever known b) I'm 2 blocks from school and c) he left, I didn't.


2. This is still our home, his and mine. His name is on the lease until July 2009. Legally he can come and go as he pleases. Morally, no he can't. So yes, he can help out with parenting while I am home.


3. I play nice with him for a few reasons... a) for whatever reason, I still love him b)we have always stressed doing things as a family and it is breaking our daughters heart that that is changing. c) we both want our divorce to be as painless as humanly possible. Getting along to the best of our ability will help us in that goal. d) there are things I need and want from our divorce. If I am mean and nasty, I have no hope.


4. I can't send him to work when I get home. I get home at 7 pm, he starts work at 10:30 pm.


5. HE DOES NOT WATCH HER DURING THE DAY! She goes to day camp till 3, he picks her up and hangs out with her because he's her dad! I have NEVER asked him to watch her. When I got this job (retail, so it's weird hours) because he moved out and I need some way to support us, he volunteered to be the one to take care of her. Besides we can't afford to do any thing else. We are sustaining 2 homes on 1.5 incomes. It's not easy.

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I've learned that even if you are 100% in the right, you cannot get others to change to meet your needs if they don't want too. If you make it clear what you need, make a plan and then communicate it, your husband can either get with the program or get on his way. He walked out, he changed the game, he lays on the couch - sounds like he's calling all the shots. I think you need to get a little tougher or just to say "Thank you for caring for our daughter today. Have a nice evening. Goodbye." People only take advantage of us when we let them.


Best of luck to you!

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