Ex Husband, New Boyfriend

Updated on May 23, 2010
M.W. asks from Spanish Fork, UT
23 answers

I just got recently divorced and I have a new/old boyfriend, someone I had dated in the past and we reconnected, I have two little boys and my ex has asked me not to bring the boys around the boyfriend for 6 months. We plan on being together, this is not a short term thing. Is it reasonable to let my ex tell me I can't bring my boys around him? My ex lives in Pennsylvania, I live in Utah with the boys.

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So What Happened?

in response to Michelle W. When we decided to divorce he told me he would follow me and go where ever I wanted to go, he would be in the same town so he could see his boys. I chose to come to utah close to family. He then took off to Pennsylvania to live with an xbox buddy. He was not that involed with their life when we were married, and now when he acts like he wants to be it's just surprising.

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answers from Provo on

I feel that both sides should never introduce the interests in their lives until it is already serious. I'm a single mom and my sister is also. She has introduced every man that she just liked to her three kids. Alayna her oldest has huge daddy issues so it just upsets it even more. I swore I wouldn't ever confuse my son like that.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I agree with Dawn. You should wait before you introduce them, not because the ex said so but just because it will be hard on the kids.

Maybe before you introduce him as the boyfriend, introduce him as a friend and have the kids get to know him that way... But you should wait before you do that too.

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answers from Austin on

Saw your update, but it does not change my answer.

My mom did not show physical affection either with the guys she dated or befriended.. They NEVER slept over at our house while we were there.. My mom was divorced for 15 years before she remarried and as long as we lived with her, she did not have another man live or sleep over when we were in her care. .. These were all very nice men. So nice we really became very fond of them. Many of them had their own children and we rarely hung out with them, because they were honoring their children as well.

They were nice to us, treated our mom well, but when it did not lead to anything or they started dating someone else we were heart broken..To kids when you break up with your good friends, it is like you are all breaking up.

I am a child of divorce and I will tell you it was always hard to have a guy come into our lives, get attached and then never see them again. My mom would date them for long periods of time.. this made it even harder.. Your boys are very young. Please consider dating this guy on the days you do not have your kids.. MAYBE after 6 months, IF he is going to be around on a permanent basis consider introducing them to him..

Same with your ex, Explain to him you also would like for him to wait before introducing girlfriends to the boys.. Our father ALWAYS had a girlfriend.. We really felt like he wanted to be with us, and yet when we were out with THEM, he gave the girlfriend all of the attention..

Just because the request from the children's father, consider it. you know you really like this guy, but your kids will see him very differently. Boys really have a harder time with their moms dating...

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

I think it is a reasonable request and I am surprised at your casuality about it after being divorced with little boys. I would proceed with caution on this one. They are so impressionable.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I am a child of divorce also and I think your husbands request is very reasonable and should go both ways. Neither of you should introduce your new partners until you have dated consistently for quite a while (I even find 1 year reasonable) and are sure the new relationship is happening.
If the new partner is serious about you, he will understand.
Good luck!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I don't think the issue is whether what your ex asks is "reasonable", I think the scary part is you don't seem as concerned.
You're "recently divorced" and are already thinking this guy not a "short term" thing. You "plan on being together" but what does that mean?
Why the rush from one man to another? Why not concentrate on your own life for awhile and not be in such a hurry to get into another relationship?
I think your ex is being generous by asking that you wait only 6 mos. I think a man shows respect for a woman and her children by the way he acts in a selfless manner and puts the needs of the kids first, as should the mom!
In general, kids don't need "daddies" traipsing in and out of their lives.....be gentle on these boys. Your decisions and the way you are treated by men will have a large impact on their relationships with women in their adult lives. Take your time. You are the guardian of these little hearts!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

What do your court papers say? You should be take some time before introducing the BF to the kids for the kids sake, not your ex's sake. Remember, the divorce was hard on the kids. It will be difficult for them to see another man in your life. If it's not going to be a short term thing, then you shouldn't have a problem waiting. Meanwhile, go out on dates to get to know your BF all over again, without the stress of the kids having to learn to "like" him. If your kids will be swimming or playing ball over the summer, maybe the BF could come to the park or pool and get to know them there without paying too much attention to you. Then they like him first before they know he's "THE BF". That might be better than inviting him over to the house, and then you won't have to argue the point with your ex.

Addition: Just saw your ***, and you could be right. Perhaps faced with the reality that you are now dating, he's figured out that he was wrong, OR he has a "do as I say and not I do" attitude. Either way, remind him of his own past behavior and ask him what he is planning on doing with his girlfriends and your sons and see what he says. What mostly matters is how your sons are treated by you both. I'd still wait for their sake.

Good luck,

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

On your first post I say Don't bring a guy or girl around (AT ALL) the kids for minimum of 6 months

On your updated post I say slow down with the marriage stuff you are moving way to fast. And DONT bring guy around kids for 6-12 months. This is also about showing respect to your children.

Be the better parent. You & your ex are in a power struggle about he did she did stuff. And that is not what a parent is all about. It's about doing what's in the best interest of the children NOT "well he brought them around a girl....". It's not healthy for mommy or daddy to just get divorced & start bringing new love interests around the kids.

When I was a single mom I NEVER let my daughter meet a guy I was dating for almost 12 months, even as she got older it was the same rule. Her dad on the other hand didn't respect her enough to not bring her around woman he dated. She didn't like it & resented the majority of them.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

6 months doesn't sound that unreasonable to me and I do believe your ex has a say. They are his children too. That being said, you are in different cities and quite far from each other, it is not like you have the option to take the boys over to their dad's so you can go on a date. Makes it hard. If you and your new beaux are serious about a relationship, I think it is just fine if you wait a few months before you make him a huge part of your boys life. Take your time, if it is meant to be, it is meant to be.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

What's good for the goose.... If you tell him not to bring your boys around women until it is serious I think the same should go for you. I think 6 months is reasonable.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boise on

I feel so sad for your boys. :( The loss of their parents being together, then each of their parents with other partners, plus living so many miles from each of their parents...
I think you and your ex should think of your kids' best interests and stop dating altogether until you have raised these precious children. They should be the most important thing in your lives, even if you weren't able to keep your marriage together. Move closer to one another and spend your time co-parenting, not dating or getting married again.

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answers from New York on

I don't think the request from your ex is unreasonable. Your boys are going through a difficult time right now. They need time to adjust. The LAST thing they need is to think someone is coming to replace daddy. Your ex is the boys father, so yes he does have a say in how the boys are raised.

If you're planning on being together, than waiting six months shouldn't be a big deal.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

If your going to marry this man he needs to get to know them and I would have them around him. I would want to see what kind of man he will be around two children that are not his. It s so important that your little ones like him, if they do great. But what if they do not, this is something you need to consider. However if your not sure your getting married yet. Do not bring your children around people until your 100% sure he is going to be in your life for good.

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answers from Portland on

When I was eight, my long-time divorced mom brought a wonderful new man into our lives. For about 5 or 6 months, he was friendly and funny and full of wonderful energy, and my sisters and I fell in love with him, started thinking of him as our daddy. My mother fully believed he was going to marry her. Trouble was, he was already married, and my mom didn't learn about that until she got pregnant.

That was a hard situation for all of us, and for me personally, the single most devastating event of my life. Fear of abandonment has marked almost every other relationship in my life, and I've had to do tremendous emotional work to grow past this catastrophe.

Whatever you do, please keep your sons' emotional well-being in mind. They may not adore your new man, but conflicted loyalties are also terribly hard for children to deal with.

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answers from Tulsa on

It sounds to me like your ex just wants to make sure it's a long term & stable relationship before your boys get involved. Doesn't seem unreasonable to me.

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answers from Philadelphia on

I agree with your ex. Just becasue he let your kids meet his GF so soon doesn't mean you should let your kids meet this guy. I am a big believer that you should wait until you are committed tot his guy and the relationship and you are going to get married before you let your kids meet him.

I don't like that some people let their kids meet every person becasue the kids possibly connect and you are teaching them to have a bunch of partners before marriage.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

Yes, he is getting back at you, one good turn deserves another.

Putting all things aside, what is in the best interest of your boys?

I rarely brought dates around my daughter, unless it was intended a long lasting relationship.

My honest opinion, 6 months would give the boys time to acclimate to the changes in their lives. Of course, you only mention recently divorced was it yesterday?

With that said, it is not reasonable to place your life on hold, however on the count of your boys it is not asking too much is it? It should work both ways.

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answers from Redding on

Divorce is hard on children. There's no way around it, even under the best of circumstances. Mom and dad aren't married anymore, they don't live in the same house anymore, (in this case even the state)...
I think resuming dating too early or bringing new prospective partners around your children too soon and too young can completely devalue the seriousness of any romantic relationship.
Marriage is supposed to be forever, but often it's not.
A dating relationship that might seem promising can end if one person or the other feels it's not going to work out. On to the next one...."there are plenty of fish in the sea."
I think for kids who grow up with parents who date lots of different people in front of them, they can grow up either not trusting relationships at all or not trusting themselves to be happy without one.
I've known several women throughout my life who absolutely cannot and will not be without a man for longer than 15 minutes, and that's not much of an exaggeration. I know of one woman who has had numerous live in boyfriends and been through several marriages...all in front of her kids.
If you were to ask her, she would tell you that each and every one of her relationships was "serious". Serious can be a very relative term especially when you look at it from a kid's perspective. If you're not careful, even marriage can be seen as not serious to a kid. Oh, it's serious all right, but for how long? Serious is not the same as permanent.
So, in the midst of all that, how does one teach their children about vows and committment or what a serious relationship means?
To me, it seems obvious in those instances that it's about sex and adults wanting to get it on. For as long as it's fun for them.
Kids aren't dumb.
They are, however, impressionable.

Recently divorced?
I think you and your ex-husband should be very careful with your children.
This is not being judgemental because I don't know you, but you had a boyfriend, broke up, married someone else and had kids, divorced, now you're back with with a previous boyfriend, you don't want your ex having women who aren't "serious" around your kids, but you think your ex is getting back at you for asking you to wait 6 months and you don't see anything wrong on your end of the equation.
That's kind of baffling, actually.

I just think you should be careful. I have no doubt you love your children so why not get through one period of adjustment at a time for their sake? For your own sake? You just got a divorce. Why would you be thinking about marrying someone else so soon? Love is love and if it's meant to be, your boyfriend will be fine with not rushing things. What's the hurry?

I mean no offense whatsoever, but I think you should wait. Not because your ex said so and not because I say so.....
You're raising a couple of boys and you want to show them that women are for more than coming and going. If they love her they'll wait. If they love her, they'll respect her.
What kind of men do you want them to grow up to be based on the example you set by the kind of woman you are?

I mean no offense. These are just things for you to think about.
Best wishes.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

How would you react if it was the other way around? What if you ask you ex out of respect for you to wait 6 months before he introduces your kids to someone new?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

I wouldn't bring my 3 kids around a new guy or guy's that i'm dating or a new boyfriend after a recent divorce from their father..He is looking after his boys because they don't understand & explaining it to them just complicates things...You may live in seperate states & you can choose to do otherwise opposite of what he wants & if you feel that it is ok to bring them around your new guy then do it..Why ask if it is ok to let your ex husband tell you otherwise..I wouldn't like it being done to me either & to my kiddos..

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answers from Seattle on

I think there are always exceptions to every rule... but that the rule is in place for VERY good reason, and unfortunately most people believe they're the exception to the rule.

For myself... I ask what is the worst case scenario & what is the best case scenario? Then I act/plan as if it's the worst case. Then everything that comes is bonus, instead of pain. I've had enough pain in my life.

So in this situation... (the best case is obviously what and why you want it, so we'll skip that) what's the worst case scenario if you wait 6 months? The only worst case I can think of is him leaving you. If he would leave you, then you REALLY don't want to be in a relationship with him in the first place.

.... and what's the worst case scenario if you put of the wedding for 6mo-2 years? I can't personally think of one.


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answers from Stationed Overseas on

I guess I'm in a whole different group. I met my husband online when my daughter was about 3 years old. We talked online for about 6 months before we met. I let my daughter talk on the phone to him and stuff and then I went to meet him and left my daughter at home with my parents. After that he came to me and he met my daughter immediately.
While I agree if you're just having fun/flings and it's a revolving door of partners it's probably not a good idea for the kids to meet every one of them. It does send the wrong impression.
But I also feel that dating responsibly can be a good example for kids, depending on their ages. Obviously a 3 year old doesn't care, but even a 10 year old may learn a lesson or two about dating simply by watching.
If you're in a relationship you consider permanent or long term I see no harm in having the kids involved in the relationship and setting a responsible example. The kids should not be meeting this new love the day before the wedding. The kids need time to "date" the new partner just as much as you do. They have to figure out how to relate to this new person as well. You also need time to make a judgment call on how you think he'll do in a step dad role. In my opinion it's not fair to the kids to wait until the last second to bring them into it.
In the scenario you described it sounds like you sort of started the whole thing when you asked him not to bring his flavour of the week around the boys. So it does sound like he's getting even. But again, there is a difference between the flavour of the week and somebody you consider more permanent. I think that needs to be considered.
Should you abide by your ex's request? Yes. Because you have already asked the same of him and, at least this time, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. I think you're now stuck following your own advice. Trying to get your ex to understand the difference between flavour of the week and long term relationship may be more of an argument than you want to have.
Good luck!

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answers from Pocatello on

Why would he ask this? You are a grown woman and you two have seperated. He may also bring your boys around any woman he so chooses to and will do.

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