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In a pretty big pickle, need help


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Divorced guys, or anyone who can provide insight, I need some advice/help.

I’m hoping someone has been in a similar situation and can help me out, I am in quite the pickle and it’s sucking what little life I have left from me. I’ll start from the beginning to try and provide as much perspective as I can. Last year me and my wife decided to split, we agreed we weren’t meant to be married, we weren’t in love anymore. We get along, not on bad terms by any means. Since then we have continued to live together for the sake of our 3 and 7 year old kids, and have been waiting for the funds to start filing for divorce. Fast forward to now, my ex has a partner, and I have a girlfriend whom is perfect, the love of my life, I don’t know what I would do without her, and we’re pregnant. Now my ex didn’t exactly have the best childhood growing up or the closest immediate family, so when we got together and she met my family she felt welcomed and comfortable and loved. The issue I’m having is that even after we divorce my ex still wants to attend my family functions and be a part of my family, while both me and my girlfriend find that to be a little uncomfortable and weird since we’re no longer together. I get where my ex is coming from and I feel like me and my GF’s feelings are rational as well, but I don’t know how to tell my ex that she’s not welcome to attend my family functions anymore without her resenting me for the rest of our lives or without my family thinking badly of me since they enjoy her company too, but I also don’t want to seem like I’m siding with my ex and risk losing my GF, I don’t know what I would do if I lost her and our baby. I really hope someone out there can provide me with some perspective or push me in the right direction. I really need it about now. 

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I think your kids should attend your family's functions.  Tell her that you want to keep family peace and for the sake of the kids and your family's comfort level you'd prefer if the kids attend and not her.  I mean it's a free country so if certain of your family members want to see her separately that's fine.  

Also I'd focus more on making sure the divorce is filed and final so there's also no wiggle room as in your wife reminding you you are still married to her.  And that way the custody arrangement will be all spelled out.  If you have the money to have a girlfriend and plan for another child you have the $ to get divorced - I'm sure your girlfriend won't mind cutting corners/budgeting so you she will not be having a baby with a married man. This all moved very fast for all of you so at least if you put your house in order then you and your girlfriend can set up your own family and have a true commitment.  That's also in the best interests of your two children IMO.

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So the new GF is kicking up a fuss, gave you an ultimatum and possibly in a unspoken way is using the unborn child as leverage? I know you are madly in love, and that is what is influencing your decision to boot the ex out completely. The decision is not yours, but your family's if they would like her to attended or not. You can tell your ex your feelings about this, that's all you can do about it. 

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Hi @Matt R

I think the best thing to do is to not explicitly state-- she can't be with your family.  Since you have small children and another one on the way, that I would assume you want to be raised together, as they are siblings, you can't just diss the first mother. 

It is a co-parenting situation.  In which everyone should be rowing the boat together FOR THE CHILDREN.  Which will mean both mothers will be at events, so that all the children can be siblings and not feel slighted because they were born into a situation that the adults can't handle.  

If your girlfriend is truly perfect and the love of your life, she is going to have to make room in her life for your children and their mother.  It's really that simple.  She is choosing to have a child with a man that has children and a wife, so she is the new person.  She needs to find a way to fit in.  And your wife and her boyfriend has to find a way to fit in with her.  

You can't just erase who your wife is as a member of a family and the mother of the children, because you want to move on with a new life.  It just doesn't work that way.  Children first.  That's the mantra everyone needs to have.  

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The minute you have kids with someone- they are in your life FOREVER.  You need to accept that, as does your new gf.   You are both going to see your ex, so you both need to get used to that.  And no, it won't always be comfortable. 

I can tell you this from experience because I am a stepmom.  My husband had kids with his first wife, and I had to see her ALL THE TIME when the kids were little and in school at school functions and picks ups/drop offs.  And yeah, it wasn't always fun or comfortable but guess what?  That's what you sign up for when you enter a relationship with someone who already has kids.  Your new GF needs to frankly grow up and get used to it, since this is a situation she chose to be in.  You're frankly VERY lucky to be on good terms with your ex. 

Now, this doesn't mean your ex has to be present at family functions.  You absolutely have the right to have separate family functions without her.  My husband and I did this too.  Though in our case, it was his ex's decision to do events/special occasions separately from us.  We have been open and welcoming to her to join events we've had for the kids.  You can't worry about what your ex thinks about what you do with YOUR family.  I think it's reasonable to have separate birthday parties, for example.  If your family wants to continue to do things with her and I think it's great if they can, they should feel free to do things separately with her and the kids. 

However, there are going to be occasions that you are in the same room.   I think you need to worry a little less about what your EX and your GF think and feel and make sure through all of this you are focused on the KIDS.  This is going to be a BIG adjustment for them.  Dad with a new mate, getting used to you and their mom being divorced and having a new baby half sibling.  

My advice, do the best you can to co-parent and make things as normal for them as possible.  Have separate parties/family functions, if you wish.  But also understand that there will be some things you will also be together for.  All three of you adults need to let go of your discomfort for the sake of the kids.  You are three adults that had equal say in the current situation, your children didn't.   You need to have conversations with both your ex-wife and your gf.   They both need to be flexible for the sake of the kids.  This shouldn't be about adult feelings, but about your kids feelings. 

 

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Boundaries!

You need to establish boundaries with your ex and your family.  I can see as a very short transitional period, but not for years.   If so, the young impressionable kids are going to get really confused.
Also, your new girlfriend relationship will be severely strained with the ex hanging around.

I get that you are in good terms with your ex and that is a good thing for all involved.  And it sucks that she has not much in the way of family, but you it's very tricky to be friends with an ex and a new girl friend at the same time.  Too much to accommodate.

Compound that arrangement with a new baby on the way, and there are going to be tough discussions and disagreements....eventually.

I know there is a good metaphor out there for this, but it's like those old homes in the country with 8 old rusty cars in the driveway.  Why keep 8 cars around when you already have one car that works well.
It's too much clutter.

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I attended events where my ex was present when they involved our son, such as graduations and religious ceremonies. However I do not attend events at his home, his parents' home or his siblings or relatives' homes. And my ex does not attend any events held at my home or at my extended family's homes. 

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i believe you could make accommodations for her to still be apart  of the family since that is all she has and you didnt split on bad terms. And not for nothing it would be really healthy for the KIDS to see you all still doing things together. As if its not confusing enough for them to see their parents still living together but not together with other partners under the same roof dont confuse them any more then they are. And at the end of the day its your childern you need to make happy not your girlfriend. And if your girlfrind and wife are living under the same roof now they must get along some what so why would it hurt your girlfriend to have your wife at family gathers bunless she is jealous or worried that your wife will still take to wife more her. You do have your self in one big pickle jam my friend. Do the right thing for kids no one else. 

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But that's not just your ex- thats the mother of your children. She's still part of your family whether your gf likes it or not. For the sake of your children (current, existing children right now) I would have a serious conversation with your gf about this being a difficult situation to navigate. Furthermore, I would seriously reconsider your living situation and divorce considering that youre "living together"- it is very confusing and I would think about your kids and how they might feel with all these changes. Your kids, that are alive right now, should be your #1 priority. 

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Co signing mother of your children, where everything is amicable, should still be welcome at family events.

My cousins’ father remains a regular attendee of family things even though that divorce happened 30 years ago. These days he brings his wife who has also been welcomed into the family.
 

Of course if your ex started routinely making things awkward through her actions you’d have scope to ask her to reign it in, and if she couldn’t/didn’t, ask her to not attend for a while until everyone’s feelings have settled.

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I don't agree that your ex needs to attend your family functions when your children are not the specific focus of said function (ie their birthdays or some such thing) 

You have boundary issues that are much bigger than that, though. You are married and living with your (soon-to-be-ex) wife and are expecting a baby with someone else. How do you envision that going when you are your girlfriend don't even live together and you are legally married to another person? You say you stayed living together for the kids (and money), but I am not sure how this arrangement benefits the children when they have a new sibling on the way with a woman Dad isn't living with. 

In other words, you're focusing on the wrong issues right now. 

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On 1/24/2023 at 8:31 PM, 1a1a said:

My cousins’ father remains a regular attendee of family things even though that divorce happened 30 years ago. These days he brings his wife who has also been welcomed into the family.

I have two childhood friends who have blended families like this. Even my own family is like this to an extent. People leave their insecurities and gripes at the door and everybody just gets along. It's a really nice thing when people have the ability to do this.

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Your family has the right of way on this. They're entitled to invite whoever they wish to their gatherings. You and GF don't get a vote on that.

You can either attend or not, with your GF or not, but that's the limit of your ability to dictate what other people choose to do.

You're operating in front of your kids. So you'll need to model for them how to not act like a douche to their mother. Advise GF that she chose to enter this family, such as it is, and if she wants access to its functions she'll need to be civil toward everyone who attends. If she can't handle that, she'll need to see you outside of your family time with your children.

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On 1/24/2023 at 6:25 AM, Matt R said:

  since we’re no longer together. 

You're married and living together. You're in an open marriage where you're both dating others. You and your wife are very much together. 

Since you don't live with your pregnant GF, you'll have to pay child support. Since you are married and living together as a financial unit, how does your wife feel about you paying child support for your GFs child?  

There's a lot more to figure out here than whether the wife or GF should go to family get-togethers.

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Yup, I agree.  Sadly, you've got a LOT on your plate right now, don't you?

A wife you have split up with, a new gf whom is expecting your 3rd child ( so 3 kids under the age of 8- with 2 women now..).  Yet you're not yet divorced & still living with your ex.

So.... first off, I suggest you have it out with the ex ( kinda) wife. As she should realize you are no longer involved, then she need not attend your family functions. ( Is not your fault for her past). When I split from my ex, he no longer attended anything & I didn't want him there.  My family understood we were no longer involved, so he basically had no spot there anymore.

Second, I really suggest you get your **** together now.  I can't see why your now gf would even consider leaving you.  Where did that come from??  Unless, she is a little off on this whole situation? ( as mentioned, you're still living with the ex).  Can you not get a place with her now, since you're having a kid together?  * No offence, but I think at least YOU should have used protection - if not both- obviously she did not* 😕 .  this whole thing is a little sad, if you ask me. I am sure I don't have to explain that any further.

Lastly, yeah, as mentioned, your kids need to be priority.  And in time, they will come to see their parents are not together anymore.  And many kids have done okay with seeing both parents apart ( and visiting both homes).  Do YOUR best to provide more support & understanding towards them, as they will have to work on accepting this split as well, the changes, etc.

 

 

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