Mom to Mom

How much do I have to share with my Ex?
March 11, 2013 at 9:25 PM

My ex and I have been apart for well over 2 1/2 years.  A year after breaking up, we had the discussion about the potential of getting back together, and I made it clear that while I had been hoping we could, after a year apart, I realized I would never, could never rebuild a romantic relationship, but that we would work together to build a friendship, as it would be best for the kids to have two parents who could work together and be friends, even if we were not getting back together.  (that was July 2011).  My ex has dated, even had a girlfriend for over 10 months that was headed for living together before she realized how bad my ex's alcoholism was.  I have not really dated in the time that we have been apart, as I have been busy raising the kids, and making sure they get to have time with my ex, even through detox and rehab (and relapse and the continuing cycle), and all of the other stuff my ex has been dealing with.  I have also stood by my ex, and helped in any way I could, because I took the commitment of friendship to heart.  

So a year ago I started to re-enter the dating world.  I went out with a few different people from about May until October, but didn't really hit it off with anyone.  Near Christmastime, when I had decided to give up on dating for a while as it was just too complex with raising kids as a single mom, I met someone who has become very special to my life.  We live 2 hours apart, and both have kids,  so we see each other every other weekend.  Lately we both feel very connected, and feel that we are both on board with this being a long term relationship.  We have started toying with the idea of moving in together at some point in the future and discussing what kinds of things would have to happen to make that possible, as well as what possibilities we have with custody issues--I have phsyical custody of my kids, my ex gets them one night a week, and my new love has split custody of the kids, living next door to their kids, so sees them everyday, which would change if we move in to my house (I own my house as of last year),so my new love would have to go back to court to get custody stuff changed.  So we have a lot of things to work out before we commit to moving in together, which is why we are just starting to discuss it.

The issue i have is that my ex has been horrible about this whole relationship,trying to make me feel guilty that I am spending time with someone other the the kids, that somehow I am endangering the kids by introducing someone else to their lives.  And is meddling in everything.  Then backs down and is all normal for a few days.  So tonight, my ex is IMing me and grilling me about how serious the relationship is getting and if we are moving in together, and I said we had started talking about that possibility for the future, and my ex was insisting that I have to give all sorts of details and that my ex should have a say in this decision. I have a headache now, because my ex has taken us (me and the kids) through hell and beyond, and I have stood by and tried to be supportive even after I left, because alcoholism is one hell of a disease and I had never experienced the hell it brings before.  But now that I am putting my life back together, have a new house (needed handicap accessibility for my youngest, and renting was getting too complex to get that feature,so I worked a deal with an old friend who was selling a piece of property to renovate the house and do a rent to own).  I have been working odd jobs to make ends meet as I need flexibility for the kids dr appointments and to deal with their issues, and I receive no child support as my ex was so difficult when we split that I did not ask for any and my ex doesn't work (well just started again after nearly a year in alcohol treatment).  I finally have met someone who makes me happy and who could potentially be a person that I would want to marry someday (though it is way to early to make that commitment, we talked about it in the same conversations we talked about the future possibility of moving in together).  

So, after all of that long explanation, I have  to ask, how much information should I share with  my ex?  What is the normal way it works when a divorced couple begins dating other people again?  How much say does my ex have in whether or not my SO can move in, with or without my SO's teenage kids (who would probably only be here on the weekends or every other weekend)?  I have always been open and sharing with my ex, and have been blindsided by the reaction and behaviors that I am seeing regarding me developing a new relationship.


  • rory10
    by rory10
    March 11, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    It's your life and your house and therefore your rules. This is your personal life, he's no longer in that portion. As long as everyone gets along and your kids are fine with it (without obviously having his oppinion drilled into them) go for it. I'd try making it a family decision tho.

  • HeatherGandJ
    March 11, 2013 at 9:57 PM
    My kids have spent time with my SO, and they all get along, we even went up to meet SO's family (mother,kids,sister,etc...) for a weekend. So all four kids have met, and my ex has met my SO on a couple of occassions as well. This past weekend my oldest turned ten, so my SO met most of my family (though had met my parents and one of my sisters previously),and my ex wanted to do pizza and cake all together on Saturday when I dropped the kids off and said it was okay for SO to come too. I have brought up the possibility of SO joining our family and home in the future, and they both seemed more excited about that possibility than I was expecting them to be. I definitely want to make sure that we are all making the decisions,as it is not just two adults, but rather two adults and four kids (ages 17, 12, 10, and 6) who will be impacted by any decisions that we make (as well as ex's).
  • splatz
    by splatz
    March 11, 2013 at 11:11 PM
    Just stand your ground. It sounds like your ex just wants to be in control of your life. He is probably upset that you are moving on.

    Good luck mama!
  • OliviasMommy611
    March 12, 2013 at 8:22 AM
    Tell him as minimally as possible.
  • Manda0606
    March 12, 2013 at 8:59 AM
    Dont tell him crap, you stood by him how many years with this disease and he didn't care for his children nor you physically nor financially! He had his chance! Tell him get sober keep a steady job and grow up to where you can talk maturely to each other. YOU divorced this man for a reason, to have a good life for your children and you. YOU have done what the children need and have them taken care of and now YOU are finally happy with somebody. So the way I see it is he deserves no response on anything in your life at all, the children maybe, but really he isn't helping you either with them. As of his disease you can't use that as a crutch for him because it is a disease but people do have a choice to change and he isn't and u gave him how many chances? And his craziness that can affect people's relationships too that guy you are with could get fed up with it. I'm not being mean to u at all on hear I just want YOU to realize that you deserve a good life too, just stand back and think about everything and think what is best for you guys I know u can get it figured out especially if u have been dealing with him all these years
  • Manda0606
    March 12, 2013 at 9:01 AM
    And go back and read your post to yourself as many times as you need too all of your answers to yourself is right there!! Promise!! :) good luck and I'm here if u need any more encouragement
  • Pammi86
    by Pammi86
    March 12, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    I feel he needs to know nothing unless you move in with this guy or vice versa! Then since you have kids he has a right to know but thats about it!

  • Janet
    by Janet
    March 12, 2013 at 12:08 PM

     I agree!!

    Quoting splatz:

    Just stand your ground. It sounds like your ex just wants to be in control of your life. He is probably upset that you are moving on.

    Good luck mama!


  • HeatherGandJ
    March 13, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    Thank you all!

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