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Co-parenting and dating.


Darknut

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I am divorced and have three kids. I now have a girlfriend of about a year.

 

My girlfriend thinks attending events where my ex is is inappropriate. My girlfriend gets very upset at me for even entertaining the idea of going to an event where my ex will be present.

 

My parents invited my ex to dinner after our child's dance receital. My girlfriend was upset at me for even considering going to dinner with my parents, my kids, and my ex. My girlfriend lives across the country or else she would have been invited to.

 

I feel like I am choosing my girlfriend over my kids and am missing out on a lot of my kids lives. At the same time I am not spending every evening with my ex. It's just rare occasions like holidays or other events.

 

Please give me some perspective.

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Some partners are able to respect and accept the relationship that co-parents need to have, others can't handle it. They get jealous and insecure. Unfortunately you have chosen the latter. If its worth it you could sit her down and explain that this is a necessary part of co parenting and that it won't be changing and she needs to try to understand that and even embrace it. But, in my opinion....people who have strong views like this just aren't compatible with people who already have children. If/when you date again, try to figure out early on how the person feels about your parenting relationship with the ex.

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If you date someone with kids, not only are the kids part of the package - but there's probably an ex in there as well. Your girlfriend knew your situation at the beginning, I assume.

 

I know from time to time I've met guys who were lovely, but any woman who got involved with them would have to be prepared to be sidelined because of commitments to their previous family. You are clearly trying to balance the two, but your girlfriend isn't prepared to meet you halfway.

 

If your ex-partner was just an old girlfriend and there weren't kids involved, your current girlfriend would have a point.

 

The times you are missing out on with your kids are times you won't get back - and neither will your kids.

 

Unfortunately, this is an incompatibility which really can't be dealt with; it's very unlikely your girlfriend would be prepared to compromise, and that's her prerogative. She needs to find herself a partner who doesn't have children from a previous relationship, and you need to find someone more understanding. Your children certainly don't deserve to be innocent victims in all this!

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As someone who has been in your girlfriend's situation, it is what it is. She needs to either grow up and accept the fact that co-parenting is healthy for the children or she needs to move on. Your kids should always come first, and if she can't accept that, she needs to say goodbye.

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A few things I didn't mention. My parents do not know I'm divorced and think I'm happily married. So maybe my girlfriends insecurities arise from that. I'm planning on telling them in the next few weeks.

 

So what are some examples of an appropriate co parenting relationship with my ex while having a girlfriend.

 

Their is absolutely no chance of me and my ex ever getting back together or remarried. We have a very cut and dry but amicable relationship.

 

Is it appropriate to go to dinner with my ex and the kids?

 

Is it appropriate to go to her families events when I am invited if her family is well aware of the divorce and knows and supports me dating someone?

 

Should I plan on doing holidays just me and the kids without my ex?

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A few things I didn't mention. My parents do not know I'm divorced and think I'm happily married. So maybe my girlfriends insecurities arise from that. I'm planning on telling them in the next few weeks.

 

So what are some examples of an appropriate co parenting relationship with my ex while having a girlfriend.

 

Their is absolutely no chance of me and my ex ever getting back together or remarried. We have a very cut and dry but amicable relationship.

 

Is it appropriate to go to dinner with my ex and the kids?

 

Is it appropriate to go to her families events when I am invited if her family is well aware of the divorce and knows and supports me dating someone?

 

Should I plan on doing holidays just me and the kids without my ex?

 

Integrity - when our inner life and outer life are in agreement.

 

These questions have no fixed answer. The underlying situation is the issue, not the activity. If boundaries and relationships are clear, then these questions become irrelevant.

 

Make sure you are living your life transparently and honestly. Then, put groups together in the most authentic way possible.

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My parents do not know I'm divorced and think I'm happily married. So maybe my girlfriends insecurities arise from that. I'm planning on telling them in the next few weeks.

 

Oh dear... I think this may be a bit of an understatement. I personally believe that a relationship which needs to be hidden is one which I shouldn't be in at all...

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A few things I didn't mention. My parents do not know I'm divorced and think I'm happily married. So maybe my girlfriends insecurities arise from that. I'm planning on telling them in the next few weeks.

 

So what are some examples of an appropriate co parenting relationship with my ex while having a girlfriend.

 

Their is absolutely no chance of me and my ex ever getting back together or remarried. We have a very cut and dry but amicable relationship.

 

Is it appropriate to go to dinner with my ex and the kids?

 

Is it appropriate to go to her families events when I am invited if her family is well aware of the divorce and knows and supports me dating someone?

 

Should I plan on doing holidays just me and the kids without my ex?

 

There is just so much conflict avoidance with this. Because of it, everything else is suspect. Why would you go to dinner with wife and kids? Why invest your time tjat way? What life do you intend to build that is just your own, yours and your kids to share?

 

I would not date you until you stopped pretending to be something (married and unattached) you're not.

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Pretending you're married to your parents just can't be good for your new relationship. And, separately I think she has to accept that for family peace sometimes you will have to attend a social event where your ex is present.

 

I was at an event at my son's school recently where I'm pretty sure the couple sitting with the kids between them was divorced -because I'd seen her a half hour earlier with another guy at a coffee place I was at as well (and just the energy between them seemed to indicate that). I do think you should avoid situations where your kids aren't there and it's just your ex -not all together avoid just be mindful.

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I am divorced and have three kids. I now have a girlfriend of about a year.

 

My girlfriend thinks attending events where my ex is is inappropriate. My girlfriend gets very upset at me for even entertaining the idea of going to an event where my ex will be present.

 

My parents invited my ex to dinner after our child's dance receital. My girlfriend was upset at me for even considering going to dinner with my parents, my kids, and my ex. My girlfriend lives across the country or else she would have been invited to.

 

I feel like I am choosing my girlfriend over my kids and am missing out on a lot of my kids lives. At the same time I am not spending every evening with my ex. It's just rare occasions like holidays or other events.

 

Please give me some perspective.

I often have to attend my kid's events with my ex in attendance. And I will continue to do so.

 

If a partner had a problem with it, they would have the option to leave the situation. I would not change it. I will choose my children over anyone.

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I often have to attend my kid's events with my ex in attendance. And I will continue to do so.

 

If a partner had a problem with it, they would have the option to leave the situation. I would not change it. I will choose my children over anyone.

 

Attending events where also in attendance are one's ex and perhaps his or her new family -- that is commonplace and expected.

 

Having dinner together as if the two of you remain married - that I do not recommend. It is important to draw a boundary. Face the fact that you arent together. Instead of hanging on to a proxy of the past, teach the kids to embrace their new future of two households, two family cultures. There ARE upsides to the children's experience, but you have to accept what you've done. Ir isimperative to accept yourself, the mistakes you make, and the impact you have on others.

 

Now, turn that impact into something positive. "This is where I stand, today. How do I best move forward from here?" Your kids will make mistakes. Teach them to love themselves even when that happens, by loving yourself warts and all. Do not feel guilty for being human.

 

 

---

 

As to the GF being mad about the family invite: if the boundaries are clear, everyone knows you're divorced, and the parties can be friendly, then this is lovely! The GF can't be part of it because of the LDR and I bet that is challenging. But you need to do what's right, regardless of whom it pleasea or otherwise.

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