Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
 

Author Topic: Staying Friends  (Read 6415 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Purplejay

  • trainee
  • **
  • Posts: 225
  • Gender: Female
Staying Friends
« on: April 05, 2014, 10:36:29 AM »
Just wondering if you have managed to stay friends with an ex (be it the mother/father of your children or otherwise). Would you want to? Are you more likely to do this with your childrens other parent (perhaps to enable you to co-parent more effectively)?

For me I have remained civil with all my ex boyfriends. I have remained good friends with my ex from my one other long term relationship prior to my husband. We had 2 cats - no kids! Due to finances we ended up house sharing for almost 18 months after we split and in fact we met out spouses while separated but house sharing. We went to each others weddings and i am Godmother to their eldest child. They used to cat sit for us when we went away and still socialise together from time to time and buy pressies for the kids. Lots of people find this odd and luckily we both met people who were great with it otherwise we would probably just be saying hello in passing after all these years.

My husband and I agreed to separate a year ago but he is still here. He moved into the spare room in May and finally moved his stuff in there with him in October! At present he pays his way and is easy enough to be around (mostly) so it is working reasonably well and is obviously good for M who didn't bat an eye about our having separate rooms. We do stuff with M but mostly spend our time apart when he goes to bed. I went away for a number of long weekends last year with M and plan to do the same this year. We all went on holiday together too recently as I am not brave enough to go abroad on my own! We basically did what we do at home, gave each other some breathing space and made it about M. With hindsight, probably not the best idea as husband thought we might reconcile despite my making it clear (so I thought) that that wasn't going to happen. I have now booked to take M to Disneyland Paris on my own at February half term which is both scary and exciting :-) One step at a time eh. I want him to leave but haven't done anything (other than tell him) to really push the point and he (still) isn't in a good position to move out so for now here we are. It will probably take him meeting someone else or getting a job away to get him to leave voluntarily, otherwise I will have to file for divorce and force the issue. I don't want things to turn nasty again and want to make sure M has lots of contact with his Dad. I wonder if we will get through this and come out the otherside still able to get along.

Any thoughts?
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain"

Offline Foggy

  • trainee
  • **
  • Posts: 190
  • Gender: Male
Re: Staying Friends
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2014, 11:32:06 AM »
Well ---- I have had two previous marriages, before the last, fatal, one !  The first: We married when we were late teens (too young, but we wouldn't be told). That kind of fizzled out naturally and we went our separate ways, but kept in touch as we had a daughter.

The second lasted 10 years or so when she decided she preferred women. We had two daughters and, again kept in touch and co-parented.

The last one, again 10 years or so and we have a son. This one did much more damage and left for another bloke. We have been apart for a year and hardly speak. I have care of our son. She lives in Italy.

All of the children regard themselves as siblings and so we often mix at family gatherings. At my eldest daughters wedding she had three "Fathers of the Bride" ( and,yes, everyone had to endure three speeches).

The three (ex) spouses all got on well together (not sure the last one would be welcome back to the club for a while) and I get on well with the first two and with their partners.  Things are still too raw with the third, but I cannot see us becoming friends. She did, as I said, too much damage and I will never be able to trust her again.

Offline Pearl

  • SWK Member
  • trainee
  • *****
  • Posts: 247
  • Gender: Female
Re: Staying Friends
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2014, 02:38:10 PM »
I am friends with exes, but for me it always took a bit of time apart before we were able to be friends.  I don't know right now if E's dad and I will be able to be friends.  I hope so (for her sake, if nothing else), but I can't see myself ever trusting him again and he's still a bit shaky on some of his own issues - at least no more anxiety attacks every time we're together though. 

One ex that had a miserable break up and I thought I would never speak to again I have recently reconnected with.  Both of us are now parents and we mostly chat about our kids - who are only a year apart in age.  The woman he is with is actually someone I used to know long ago so it is rather amusing to me that they found one another.
"There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere."   --Jane Austen

Offline WT4

  • Full Time Mummy
  • SWK Member
  • beyond all hope !
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,717
  • Gender: Male
  • There's Only One
Re: Staying Friends
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2014, 06:09:16 PM »
Purplejay, have you considered moving out yourself?
Two things we give our children: roots & wings

Offline Ms_wormwood

  • SWK Member
  • beyond all hope !
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,270
  • Gender: Female
Re: Staying Friends
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2014, 08:33:21 PM »
I've only got the one ex. We used to get on OK, and I thought we were headed for amicable co-parenting, but things change. I still hope for it, but it seems like a big one-sided struggle, and I have much more important things to spend my energy on. Well singular..
Onwards and upwards.

Offline Purplejay

  • trainee
  • **
  • Posts: 225
  • Gender: Female
Re: Staying Friends
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2014, 10:44:27 PM »
WT4, yes I have thought of moving out. However the house is in my name, as is the mortgage and all the bills. I work part time and also get tax credits but I have no way of affording to pay both the mortgage and bills here and the rent and bills elsewhere. My husband pays me £100 per week 'board' towards food and bills. He says he can afford no more at present but this wouldn't cover much and there would be a big shortfall. We separated once before while renting and I was the one to go then with him staying put. I bought this house with my mum while we were separated and he moved in later and contributed nothing to the purchase. I am reluctant to give it up although it may have to be sold in due course. I certainly don't want to end up with it being repossessed.
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain"

Offline Purplejay

  • trainee
  • **
  • Posts: 225
  • Gender: Female
Re: Staying Friends
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2014, 10:54:12 PM »
More generally, it seems that for lots of people problems arise once third parties get involved, particularly if they contribute to the split. It would be hard to be friends with someone who buggers off into the sunset with a new partner and barely a backward glance, particularly if they leave their kids behind and you are left however willing to take on the single parent role, dealing with the fallout.  I know I am much more easy going with M's Dad when he is being a great Dad.
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain"

Offline WT4

  • Full Time Mummy
  • SWK Member
  • beyond all hope !
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,717
  • Gender: Male
  • There's Only One
Re: Staying Friends
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2014, 08:40:05 AM »
Is selling the house an option that would work?

I realise there are considerable costs involved but at least the move would close that chapter of your lives.

If he's reluctant to take control of his life and move on himself I can't see any other route that doesn't involve some fairly aggressive action on your part.

- - - -

Other people merely serve to confuse an already tricky issue.  When there are children I really do believe that nothing else actually matters.  The result of that is not hate, rather an emptiness.
Two things we give our children: roots & wings

Offline j r hartley

  • SWK Member
  • newbie
  • *****
  • Posts: 37
  • Gender: Male
Re: Staying Friends
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2014, 10:00:47 AM »
If you get on, he's paying towards the bills and it's good for your child, why do you want him to move out? Sounds ideal

Offline Purplejay

  • trainee
  • **
  • Posts: 225
  • Gender: Female
Re: Staying Friends
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2014, 11:53:58 AM »
J R Hartley - in a nutshell, I don't trust him and I don't want to spend my life with someone I don't trust.

He likes to spend his spare time shopping around on the internet. I have found web chat and texts. He says he hasn't actually met anyone but who knows. He does it and is sorry but then some time passes and I find something else. He lies a lot. He is crap with money. If he thinks I won't agree with him about something he doesn't tell me. For example at one point when he was setting up his business we were going to do it together and agreed what to buy, he bought more than we agreed and then didn't tell me. He hid stuff and only confessed when he got in a mess, was unable to pay and needed me to bail him out. He buys and sells shares (despite promising not to) and has lost a lot of money doing this, more than once. He is secretive about his money, usually because he has less than he should have. His moods change and he can be awful to be around. At present he is fine, not least because he wants us to be ok again. He is sorry, he buys me flowers, helps around the house and is great with M. We have been here before though. When he moved back in after our last separation things were great for a while but it doesn't last. I was heartbroken when I found his old phone with text messages arranging to meet someone and I don't go looking, he left it lying around. I don't want to keep doing this and I can't forgive him. I am so angry with him sometimes but I am able to put it out of my mind and it is easier not to be stressed when technically whatever he is up to now is up to him as we are not 'together'. I do feel sad though for all of us. And he is so unhappy that I want him out. I don't doubt he loves me, just has a funny way of showing it at times  :(

WT4 - selling up is an option. We need to get the house in shape and both lack motivation. I have been ill on and off which doesn't help. I felt that once he was gone I could breathe again and get things sorted. It may be the way forward though. I do look at smaller houses which would suit me and M and have considered the idea of buying two properties. Trouble is with his credit record, and low income he won't get a mortgage so even with a chunk of money to put down it isn't straight forward. I guess finishing the work needed and getting this place valued would be a start and something to work towards. I have wondered if we could house share long term but things are strained and emotions run high at times. It can be very draining. It was like that when I house shared with my previous ex until he met someone else. After that we got on great! There was light at the end of that tunnel though and as soon as we could we sold the house and moved on which was something we both wanted. In my present situation, my husband doesn't want to leave me or M and can't see a practical way of doing it without ending up somewhere where he is totally depressed such as renting a room in a shared house. While this may work as a temporary solution until the house is sold he won't see it that way.
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain"

Offline WT4

  • Full Time Mummy
  • SWK Member
  • beyond all hope !
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,717
  • Gender: Male
  • There's Only One
Re: Staying Friends
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2014, 05:59:07 PM »
Have you initiated divorce yet?

Unfortunately, it seems this may be the best way way to move things along.
Two things we give our children: roots & wings

Offline Tulip

  • trainee
  • **
  • Posts: 412
  • Gender: Female
Re: Staying Friends
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2014, 06:29:45 PM »
You say you want him to leave but then say you couldn't afford to run the house if he did (or indeed rent somewhere).  On that basis what will happen when he does leave?  As for the web chat lines, not sure if you were referring to when you were together still or since.  If since, there is no problem with what he does online, or indeed offline I guess as you are not an item.  Never understand how people manage to read text messages between people arranging to meet and then say they don't go looking, the phone was left lying about.  If it was lying about surely you then chose to pick it up and read the messages.  You couldn't have accidentally glanced in the direction of the phone and managed to read a text message about meet ups.  I have 20/20 vision but there is no way I could read a text message in full from a phone just lying about, I would have a pick it up and deliberately chose to read the words.

Offline Pearl

  • SWK Member
  • trainee
  • *****
  • Posts: 247
  • Gender: Female
Re: Staying Friends
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2014, 09:07:52 PM »
Purplejay, have you ever lived entirely on your own?  Just curious cause you seem a bit reluctant to move out of a (psuedo) comfort zone.
"There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere."   --Jane Austen

Offline Cushion Plumper

  • SWK Member
  • addict
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,264
  • Gender: Female
  • Life is a journey - not a destination.
Re: Staying Friends
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2014, 09:23:29 PM »
Hi Purplejay,

I've stayed on friendly terms with all of my ex's except the one that matters the most - my son's dad!  However, although we're not friends we can at least speak to one another pleasantly now when we have to (which is not very often at all).

In regards to your situation and your current 'ex' I think you are going to remain 'stuck' for some time like this unless you take more assertive action.  He actually seems to have his cake and eat it from what you have described.  He is living in a house where he can come and go as he pleases for £400 per month but still in the family home where he has no responsibilities or obligations to pay for maintenance or repair work, he sees his son daily and still lives with the woman he loves and doesn't want to leave!  Despite this, if he did want to go and have sex with someone he can because you are technically 'single' people and there's nothing you could say about it!  He can go and relieve his sexual frustrations elsewhere if he needs to but still come 'home' and have holidays with you in the hope that things may work out again one day.  He's actually got quite a good life you know, and you're making it very easy for him to live this way.  If I had that sort of offer I don't think I'd want to be moving out either!

I guess this can carry on for as long as you are happy with it.  The crunch time may come when you yourself meet someone else and decide that going out to see somebody somewhere else can be tiring and you want them to be able to come to you at times, but this would be awkward with your ex still living in the same house.  But then again, you've done it before so it may be something you can do again.

If he's rubbish with money then he may only leave willingly when he finds another woman who is happy to take him in to her home straight away - and if he's not in a rush to do that, or got any need to do that then I reckon he'll be your 'lodger' for a long time to come.

I couldn't live like this.  If someone was to become my ex then I'd want to move on and set myself free no matter what it took.  I doubt you are happy living like this as neither of you are actually free, you're just living together separately with false hope.  You with the hope he'll go one day and him with the hope you'll realise you've made a mistake and ask him to move back in to your bedroom.

My mum and dad lived like this for years for my sake and my mum left within weeks of me turning 18.  She held on for 9 years until I was 18, but it made it no easier for me being that age.  I actually felt very sorry for her living such an isolated life and wasting her years away.  I'd rather her have been happy and free to meet someone else.  Waiting for a child to reach a certain age before splitting up with a parent is a myth - actually I found it harder to accept them splitting up as it rocked the foundations of my childhood that I thought were solid.  Your son will still be able to see his dad and have a good relationship with him if you live in separate houses if that's what you wish for him.
It doesn't matter where you go in life, what you do or how much you have; it's who you have beside you...

Offline Purplejay

  • trainee
  • **
  • Posts: 225
  • Gender: Female
Re: Staying Friends
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2014, 10:03:38 PM »
WT4 - no not initiated divorce yet and you may be right.

Tulip - Sorry if I wasn't clear, I can afford my bills and mortgage here if he left. I had planned to see if this was sustainable long term but if not, would consider moving somewhere smaller or getting a lodger. What I can't afford is to rent and pay the bills somewhere else and then continue to pay the mortgage here as well. He wouldn't pay the mortgage. The texts and internet stuff I found was all while we were together. Family computer, chat pages left open on screen, all explicit stuff. It happened more than once. The phone was left out by the computer one day and it was a different one to his usual phone so yes I was immediately suspicous and yes I chose to look and read. I am all for trusting people but when they break that trust, suspicion can eat away at you. I don't look/find things anymore, we have different computers.

Pearl - yes I have lived on my own. I did for almost 18 months when we separated before. He said he would leave then but didn't so after about 6 months I found somewhere to rent for me and m and he stayed in the house we had rented together. This house was bought without any financial contribution from him and with equity I had and a mortgage but mostly with money from the sale of my mums house (she lived here before she went into care). I find it incredibly hard to walk away from that (even in the short term) and he doesn't dispute it is my house.

Cushion Plumper - You have summed that up very well. I can perfectly see why he won't go! The idea of doing this for years is definitely not what I want.

Thank you all.

On a positive note I have had a really good spring clean/tidy/declutter in my bedroom today and it looks lovely :-) Just the rest of the house to go!
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain"

Offline WT4

  • Full Time Mummy
  • SWK Member
  • beyond all hope !
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,717
  • Gender: Male
  • There's Only One
Re: Staying Friends
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2014, 09:37:06 AM »
I've stayed on friendly terms with all of my ex's except the one that matters the most

/echo

no not initiated divorce yet

Sounds like the next step.

You have time to prepare ... plenty of resources online, although many are a bit gung-ho, go-girl leave him lovey.   Your preliminary work should include ensuring your comms are secure ... that means ...

# Strong Passwords.
# Physical access to devices.
# PO Box (or similar).

Most importantly (although you probably know this) do not discuss any of the legal details of the separation/divorce with (or in the hearing of) your youngster .... no matter what the provocation.

Hope it works out for you all.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2014, 11:54:10 AM by WT4 »
Two things we give our children: roots & wings

Offline scatily

  • addict
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,378
  • Gender: Female
Re: Staying Friends
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2014, 10:14:18 AM »
Seek legal advice regarding the house purplejay, do not assume he will automatically get a good share of it. I had all the paperwork to prove I had put all the equity into our matrimonial home initially from the sale of my lone owned flat, I also had proof of the remainder my parents contributed to help us buy in a better area (thankfully had legal documents drawn up at he time). I also had prove he had only contributed debt when we got together. All of this meant I ended up getting pretty much all of or house, he got 10k one off payment which I just stuck on my mortgage. Once divorced I sold my house and downsized a tiny bit but in a better area and that covered clearing myself of the extra 10k.

I never thought about where he might live or how. He was on benefits by then and tbh I had to stop looking after him. He had no choice so did stand on his two feet (moved in and out of the woman's he had the affair with and a bedsit when they argued). Think you need to do the same unfortunately, he's not your responsibility and probably the only way he will sort himself out is if you take his comfort blanket away.

Are we friends? No, he is a total idiot and pond life. Do we tolerate each other? Yes, we communicate nicely face to face for J. If we argue it is via short texts, rare now though after 6 or 7 years (stopped counting or caring). Do stuff together? No, not now. I guess if / when J graduates or marries we will have to get along for the day, strangely I can rub along with his wife, the woman he cheated on me with better (possibly because I pity her)!

Other ex boyfriends, 2 from  late teens /early 20's I'm Facebook friends with and chat with. One is local and a family friend so we bump into each and make comfortable small talk but that's it. The other lives abroad, has a young family, he asks for parenting tips given my job and once asked why it didn't work out with us, eek! Moved on from that now though and just chat online occasionally.

Offline Purplejay

  • trainee
  • **
  • Posts: 225
  • Gender: Female
Re: Staying Friends
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2014, 09:00:34 PM »
Thanks WT4. Food for thought.

I try to protect M from all of it and am great at pretending everything is ok. He does not know me and his Dad are separating. He knows we sleep in separate rooms and do lots of stuff separately but as we try to do some stuff as a family and don't discuss it in front of him, it isn't obvious to a 7 yo. We discuss that families come in all shapes and sizes. A few of his friends have parents who live separately and have step parents and half/step siblings. He did say something the other day about 'if someone else came to live with us and they had children..' One step at a time lol! Not sure where that came from although I know he would like a sibling.. On the SWK camping trips he knows most of the kids live with one parent but also reasons that some might be there because their other parent doesn't like camping or is unable to go for some other reason which may have some truth in it.

Scantily - thanks, that is reassuring.

I think in fairness he wouldn't expect to get much from the house but I do worry that if things get messy he may be advised to try and the whole process would be costly. He did 'buy me a car' 4 years ago which I part exchanged recently to buy another. It was the 'family car' and we both had use of it and it was me who serviced, taxed, insured, mot-ed and maintained it. Not sure of he would expect to get something for this though - but perhaps not since I no longer have it!

The other thing he paid for is the kitchen although we had fallen out before we had it done and I told him not to bother if he couldn't keep his promises because I couldn't afford to reimburse him. He did the kitchen and didn't keep his promises. Despite what I said at the time, maybe he should get something for that. The house won't be worth more than what me and Mum have paid out so there would be no profit for him to share. I don't think so anyway.
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain"

Offline Silky

  • Administrator
  • beyond all hope !
  • *****
  • Posts: 11,196
  • Gender: Female
Re: Staying Friends
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2014, 12:26:51 PM »
My friend was advised (by a family lawyer) not to get lawyers involved when separating. Says it all really.... hmm.

I can laugh and joke now with my ex, though we wouldn't actively do anything together. We're now civil mainly because of the kids but wouldn't really have any other reason to see each other otherwise. It does make life easier, but our initial fall outs were down to circumstance rather than solicitors. There IS pain involved in change and separation, but it's like using all your effort to push aside a huge boulder that's blocking the light - you need the effort to move it, your knuckles graze but it's all worth it once the obstacle is moved...

How much do you want your ex to move out Purplejay? If you're happy with him as a live in lodger then that's fine (although make sure he pays both his fair way on bills as well as towards your child, and isn't exploiting the situation).  It absolutely killed me having my ex here once we'd split, I simply couldn't move on properly or feel really free of the situation until we'd sorted that side out.  If you're not feeling like this, then don't worry about it - just go with the flow and change when you're ready.

Silky x
A positive mental attitude may not solve all your problems but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort"

Offline Foggy

  • trainee
  • **
  • Posts: 190
  • Gender: Male
Re: Staying Friends
« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2014, 12:33:40 PM »
I couldn't share with my ex  (current ex ??). Too many memories of who she was and I have no idea as to who she is now.

If it works for you, go for it .... but don't get trapped into the situation.

Offline Sqizzer

  • SWK Member
  • trainee
  • *****
  • Posts: 405
  • Gender: Female
Re: Staying Friends
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2014, 01:13:57 AM »
We tried friends for a while - doesn't work and actually did more damage. Now I wish I never had to see him ever again for all the extra insult he added to injury. There is no way I could ever live under the same roof - I find it hard to share air with him
be KIND... for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about!

Offline Deborah43

  • SWK Member
  • beyond all hope !
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,224
  • Gender: Female
Re: Staying Friends
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2014, 12:20:14 AM »
The issue is about the relationship M has with his dad more than anything.

If you need to make the break then force it.  And if he and M still have a relationship then that will be down to you assisting that and him making sure he maintains it. 

"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea."

Offline Purplejay

  • trainee
  • **
  • Posts: 225
  • Gender: Female
Re: Staying Friends
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2014, 12:43:17 AM »
Hiya, a little update and a thank you for your comments.

We jingle on. I am making lists and plans. Seeing a solicitor is on there but I haven't done it yet.

Ex and I have seen less of each other. Peaks camping, a weekend in Chester and soon Severn Valley. M seems perfectly happy to do these without Dad this year. There has been talk of a weekend in London for them  :) In between he has been working and has taken M out over half term while I worked. We split childcare this week, 2 days each. I am trying to focus on decluttering and selling stuff to raise some cash! It needs doing - all part of getting motivated and feeling in control of things. Plus a bit of extra money would be nice. I have been working extra hours but these will come to an end in July for the school hols.

After Severn we have a possible camping weekend in July, then something in August - I fancy camping on Shell Island but we will see and also want to visit Warner Bros Studios. Might do Wicksteed too unless dates clash with something else. Plans help me hugely with our current situation.

Now watching have I got news for you and having a cheeky vodka and coke. I relish getting my lounge to myself and don't want to rush off to bed.

Have a great weekend x

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain"

Offline lovethecoast

  • newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Gender: Female
Re: Staying Friends
« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2014, 10:13:53 AM »
Working to maintain an amicable relationship with someone if you have children together is a very honourable and grown up thing to do. But you should still have boundaries and not accept or give bad behaviour due to familiarity.

Staying friends with an ex is something I would not do. There is no reason to feel you owe someone something or that you need to be a good person and be their friend.
It just muddy's the water when you start a new relationship.

People become ex's for a reason, remember it, learn from it and move on.

 

Single Parent Holidays in the UK and Overseas. Single With Kids offers the widest range of breaks and holidays for single parents, from camping with kids and value breaks through to all inclusive overseas resorts and adventure holidays. Our destinations range from the Lakes through to Lapland, Center Parcs to Tunisia. All Single With Kids Holidays are in group settings with the focus on fun and friendship. Everyone is a single parent family with children aged from babies through to teenagers, and mums and dads from all backgrounds.*Single With Kids Ltd * Greg Street, Stockport SK5 7BR * Telephone 0845 166 8119 *



Copyright © 2014 Single with Kids.
All rights reserved.