30 answers

Divorce, Children & New Boyfriend

I filed for divorce October 2009, my ex and I agree upon mostly everything. He is a good father (sees the boys every Wednesday and every other weekend) but our communication is a little poor because he is, never has been, good with words - if there is an issue of any sort, he stays quiet and I resolve.
Here we go:
My divorce will be finalized August 30th, I have been dating a man for 8 months - I know, I know not a lot of thinking time in between but in all honestly my ex and I have been mentally and emotionally split for 3 years, just physically living together, for the sake of our boys - this man and I knew each other for a year and a half before we dated, we were associated through my best friend and her husband (his brother). I'm completely in love, as is he, my kids love him and he absolutely adores them and treats them as his own. In total we have all been around each other, as a family unit, only 3 weekends, other than that it has been casual with friends and their kids around at the same time. At the time I am living with my parents, which is fine and I could handle longer if that is what should be done, but we really want to start our life together.
Is it too early to move in together?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Yes. Why are you in a rush? Even though the boys like him... let them have time to adjust their feelings about building a new family. If you can afford to not move in just wait. If you have known him for 1 1/2 years allow the boys some more time with him and him more time with them. Allow them to go through the Wow Pow and Reality of a new relationship. That is to say... wow-he is different than Dad and that is cool. Pow-the first time he does something or several somethings that they don't really care for. Reality-regardless of the yucky stuff I have seen, I am ok with him-he is a keeper.

2 moms found this helpful

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Honestly you will have to answer that question yourself. Speaking from experience, I would give it more time. There is a huge difference between you guys being together on the weekends and being together every day, especially with kids. My advice would be to take it slow. I am going through my 2nd divorce and I can tell you I will never bring another person into my kids lives while they are living with me, it is too risky. I had no idea how their step-dad would be around them - I thought I did, but I was wrong. This guy may be great and a wonderful, loving person and all may be fine...but if you aren't 100% sure yet - take your time and make sure.

13 moms found this helpful

Candace, he needs to "date" your children, not cohabitate with them. It's too much to ask of your kids to share their home with a man they don't know.

You can still be in love with him and not have him move with you (or you with him). Give your kids some time to transition. This hasn't been easy for them.

D.

8 moms found this helpful

As a child of divorce (several times over), I say do NOT move in together until you are married. Granted, no one can guarantee that a marriage will work out, but it's a commitment. Living together is not a commitment, it just feels like one. Every relationship you get into now involves both you and your boys - you and whoever you get involved with have to realize that marriage is the end goal of a serious relationship. If you just want to "have fun", then don't involve the chidren. If you're serious about this man, and he's serious about you, then take your time.

My mother was a "serial dater". She did not consider our emotional well being. She sprang a marriage on us when I was 14 - it lasted 3 months. Another boyfriend moved in with us when I was 15 or so - he lasted for several years, I let my guard down, and then it ended.

No relationship you have now is just a relationship you're having. It's a relationship your kids are having as well. Do your best to have a good relationship with their dad. If you do make it official with your boyfriend, make sure he understands that he is a co-parent with you and your ex, and that all 3 of you need to be civil for your kids. I know from experience that this is possible, and it makes ALL the difference in the world.

Good luck!

7 moms found this helpful

I'm sorry but your children should come first here. This divorce is not even final yet, even though you knew each other well before STILL, these kids grieve the parental split and need time to adjust to the new lifestyle put before them.

As a child of divorce, the parents move on, fall in love, blah blah BUT the children live with it daily, splitting time between 2 families, feeling torn apart.

If this man truly loves you, he will work with you to ensure the best transition for your children. That means getting to know your children, building a relationship with them. Don't just throw them into another change with an instant dad.

I am not oppsed to living together before marriage, I did , BUT I did not have children. You are also setting an example for your children. They are very impressionable and I think they need to see true committment, meaning you and your man be committed to those children. You've only spent 3 weekends together in a year and you are ready to move in?

Please take time to let this relationship grow. If it is a true relationship, it is worth the wait.

Best wishes.

7 moms found this helpful

I was the woman dating the man with kids in this scenario (your boyfriend's position) and can say we dated for one year when his divorce was final and then moved in/got married. Was it right? Who knows. But here's some perspective: I've read all the books about stuff like this and they say it takes 3 years to emotionally get over a break-up, and that's starting from the day the divorce is final. In hindsight, I do wish I'd waited a little longer before launching into a commitment. Time gives you the benefit of seeing people in their natural state, not all made-up, sweet-smelling and pretty/handsome. Over time, the mask we wear comes down to reveal our true selves. You adore your boyfriend but do you really know him well? No. Rushing into a relationship is not fair to you or him or most importantly to your kids. What if you see a different side of him next year and want to bail? What will that do to your kids, who get close to him but then have to live through another crumbling household? What lesson are you teaching them about love, relationships, and stable family life? Personally, I'd take more time to date each other... like another year at the very least... before tying the knot. Truly, what's the rush?

6 moms found this helpful

please honey wait. what;'s the rush? let your kids mourn the loss of their family unit. spend some time with them. let dating alone for a couple of years, and concentrate on yourself and your children.
my answer: too early to date. too early to move in together. too early to get married...for your children.

5 moms found this helpful

Yes. It's too early. Both you and your children need time to adapt to your new situation. In addition, it's not fair to your children to replace their daddy with your boyfriend.

4 moms found this helpful

If you have children I wouldn't suggest moving in with anyone who you aren't married to. If the situation doesn't work, then your children suffer the blow also. There is nothing wrong with maintaining separate residences until you are married. Too many people these days think its appropriate and it sets bad examples for our young ones. If you believe in God, then I would suggest to pray on it. If not then I don't want to push religion on you, but just think morally about whether or not you think its a good situation for your children.

4 moms found this helpful

I know your kids love him but they may not really realize his permanence. Regardless of what has been going on with you and your husband for three years, he is the kids father and they love him. Kids have a funny way of holding onto hope that their parents will work things out, it is really hard for them to realize that is not going to happen. I think it would be better to finalize your divorce, get your own place if financially possible and get the kids used to the fact that dad isn't moving back and that you are dating this guy. More outings together etc. Also my husband and I were talking about when his mom got married recently and he said he really liked his stepdad but just all the sudden his mom was married and he was angry because no-one talked to him about, it just happened. So I think bringing them into it and talking to them about it before he moves in or you marry would be great. Even if they look perfectly cool on the outside, they are going through a lot. Sudden moves are not good for kids, lots of talking and answering any questions will make things go better I think. My last two cents are that I think having a man in the home that is not your husband is a bad idea. Who will he be to the kids? Stepdad? The guy dating mom? What if you guys break up? If it were me I would wait until I was married to move in together that way I would have a greater chance of my kids not losing another male figure in their lives again. I think if you just think totally of your kids in whatever decision you make, it will be the right one. Forget that you love this man, do what is best for them and you will all be better for it. If this man loves you he will understand and support you and give you the space to make sure your kids are secure every step of the way. Take care!!

4 moms found this helpful

I think as many other Moms have said that things are happening way too fast for you in this relationship. I also certainly would rethink this whole relationship and put my children ahead of any new man in my life. Do you think moving in with a man before marriage when you have children is sending the right message to them in the way of morales and values? Call me old fashioned in my 40's, but since your 1st marriage did not work out and 2nd marriages statistically have a higher % of divorce and divorce in general can really mess up children, don't you think you need really should be concentrating on your children, not your love life. I am sorry I am so blatantly honest in my opinions but your children deserve better.

4 moms found this helpful

Although you may have moved on, your children have not. Living and seeing mom in that type of relationship with another man can be devastating. Out of respect for your children and to let them know their father did mean something to you and the family, you should wait a while before moving in with him... at least a year after he moved out.

4 moms found this helpful

Why the rush to have him live with you? I don't understand the "need" to live together.

4 moms found this helpful

For the sake your children, please don't. If you truly love him, and he loves you, then you guys can wait. Your kids just lost a part of them. Their life just crumbled.
My dad was married to a new woman after my mom about every 2 years. It did nothing other than make a joke of my dad to us. Every time he dated a new girl we all took bets. We don't know for sure if you will be like that, but for the sake of your kids, who need a steady home, don't do it for a year at the VERY least. Let them morn.

4 moms found this helpful

You are still legally married, and not married to him. Moving in with a man you are not married to will not set a very good example for your sons. And you may want to think about being with this man, he was with you and knew you were married, so who's to say when you are married he won't see another woman who is married. In my opinion and it's just my opinion bnased on things i have seen with my friends dating and re marrying while raising children and it most cases did not turn out right, you should raise your family and not worry about a boyfriend right now, you are not even divorced and you have already been seeing someone else, that is not good ingredeients for starting a life together. Sorry if thjis sounds harsh, but if you were my daughter this is the advice I would give her. Jennifer gave you good advice too, it;s not good to bring men around your kids. Raise your family first. J.

3 moms found this helpful

yeah i think it's to early. and sometimes when you live together things change even with the children. my son used to love the ground my boyfriend walked on but when we moved in together...whoa! things changes big time. things are working themselves out now but it has taken time. not saying this will happen with you and i hope it doesn't. but still give all of you more time to be around each other before you move in and you still need to run the idea past your children if they are older then 3. just out of respect for them. good luck and i wish you all the best!

3 moms found this helpful

Personally, I would wait a bit longer. You just said that you're kids have only really been around him in his 'i'm the new boyfriend' role 3 times.

Put yourself in your kids' shoes. If YOUR parents had divorced and the week after it was final you had to move in to a new house with the new boyfriend, how would you feel?

By all means act like a family. Have him around your kids. Have him stay the night at your mom's house if you want. Just take the whole 'moving in' slow for your kids' sake.

M.

3 moms found this helpful

Does your soon to be ex know about this new love? If you move in with your new love think about the way your soon to be ex may react & the havoc he may bring to your new relationship & your boys lives.

Sometimes it's hard to do the right thing when our emotions take over our logical thinking, although you did post this question so you must know what you should do. Best wishes.

3 moms found this helpful

First let me say that I don't believe in living with someone. If you love him that much, marry him. I don't think it is right at any time to move your children in with a man and not be married to him. I don't think that is teaching your children the right values and morals.

3 moms found this helpful

I honestly don't think anyone can tell you that for sure.

People will say, "give yourself time" "it's too early" "Don't rush things" etc but really you are the only one who can REALLY answer that question.

But I will say, make sure you REALLY think about it too.

3 moms found this helpful

I meet my husband now for only a year before married and we have been married for 9 years.
So, in my mind, is not so much about how long but about the level of commitment as well.
If you think he is the men of your life and he thinks that you are the woman of his life and your kids are ok with all this, then why not do things right?
Stay at your parent's house, get engage, get married and move together.
If is true that a paper (marriage certificate) doesn't assure you that will be for ever (as you already know) it is a compromise and in the long run a smart decision that will let you and your kids protected in any case.
Ii would not move with my kid with a men that tells me he loves me but wouldn't married me.
If he likes it that much he need to put a ring on it, lol.

2 moms found this helpful

For the sake of your children, who are certainly still reeling from having their home and reality torn apart less than a year ago, wait. You may not feel like you need more time, but they definately do. I went through divorce and parental dating when I was a child, and it was so, so hard. When a new girlfriend would move in I would go through a resentment period, then love her, and then she would leave and I would feel great loss once again. And, I was forced into a relationship with my mom's boyfriend, now husband too soon, and as a result we still don't get along. I am glad that you are happy again, you deserve to be, but please wait. I wouldn't move in until there was an engagement of some sort.

2 moms found this helpful

Yes. Why are you in a rush? Even though the boys like him... let them have time to adjust their feelings about building a new family. If you can afford to not move in just wait. If you have known him for 1 1/2 years allow the boys some more time with him and him more time with them. Allow them to go through the Wow Pow and Reality of a new relationship. That is to say... wow-he is different than Dad and that is cool. Pow-the first time he does something or several somethings that they don't really care for. Reality-regardless of the yucky stuff I have seen, I am ok with him-he is a keeper.

2 moms found this helpful

You don't say how old you are, but anyone over the age of 18, should be responsible enough to decide about their situation especially with children involved. does your boyfriend have a place to stay? Do you have a place to move in together? You said your kids love him and he treats them as his own. I think you should wait until your divorce is final and spend time with your kids and explain to them about moving in together with your boyfriend and make sure there is an understanding between you and your boyfriend taking on responsibilities together as a family.

2 moms found this helpful

Yeah, ya think? Get yourself and your kids a place of your own and take it slow. you and your ex may have been "mentally and emotionally split for 3 years" but your kids just had their dad removed from their every day life.
This won't be popular advice (I'm sure) but what about this man wait until your kids are grown before you begin your life together?

2 moms found this helpful

When LOVE walks in the door.....everybody STAND UP! Still, if your current living arrangement is agreeable, let some time go by, be IN LOVE for awhile before you become partners in domesticity! Congrats to you, sounds like it's all going to work out. Take it slooooowwww.......!

2 moms found this helpful

You may think your kids love him but wait until he is in your home 24/7. My sister's kids totally loved the new bf until they got married... He is now trying to be the disciplinarian and he doesn't like how my sister has been raising her kids. They haven't had the opportunity to raise the kids together since they were babies. Can you wait until the boys are grown - for their sake? It should be all about what is best for them.

Moving in together teaches your kids that you are not worth waiting for and that you do not expect your bf to respect you. Do you listen to Dr. Laura on the radio? She doesn't have a very nice phrase for women who give sex for free in an uncommitted (marriage) relationship - she calls them unpaid whores. Is that what you want to be? Is that how you want your boys to treat women when they grow up?

Does your father think this man is being honorable in wanting you to shack up with him? When did we as women lose our dignity?

2 moms found this helpful

Were you willing to have children with your ex before you were married? If not, you should not be willing to move in with your boyfriend before you're married. It's not good for the kids...they are going thru so much now, they need time to deal with the divorce before they are provided with a step-dad who may or may not stick around.

1 mom found this helpful

I agree with others, even though you are in love and it's great, you have to put your children first. I would wait until you decide to make it permanent but I would caution against rushing anything. Why rush, just enjoy things!

Also a note regarding communication with you and your ex, I know some moms who have found it helpful to have a notebook. When you drop the kids off you leave him the notebook, he will write down anything he needs to tell you, resolve with you anything he finds hard to communicate. This may help improve things. Just a thought!

1 mom found this helpful

YES! And, I'm sorry...if kids are involved, do not move in with him.
Get married---later. Let your boys adjust to the changes they are undergoing with this divorce.

1 mom found this helpful

I lived with my husband before we were married, we moved in together after only a few months of dating, but we had both had long term committed relationships before and knew it was the real thing. If it was just you I would give you the whole, "if you know it is right go for it speech," but it isn't just you, it is your kids too. Being a mom and having dated someone with kids in the past I say go slow. Any potential break-up will not just break your heart but your kids. Plus, I know from experience that when you date someone with kids and the relationship ends, the loss of the boyfriend (or girlfriend) can be dealt with, but the loss of the kids you were learning to love is devastating, you aren't their parent (or step-parent) and have no claims when the relationship ends. Think about that for your boyfriend's sake.

But, the main reason you may want to wait is that you are asking our advice. If you felt 100% this was the right decision, you wouldn't ask and with kids you need 100%.

1 mom found this helpful

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