This is a question I have eternally struggled with on more than one occasion. There is a struggle between maintaining a healthy co-parenting relationship for your children’s sake and attaining your own happiness as a single woman with aspirations of finding a second chance in love.
Your divorce agreement spells out visitation and child support, the both of you have your own separate dwellings. But what it doesn’t spell out are the co-parenting liberties that are just assumed will still be intact by either myself or my ex-spouse? This is when the divorce ends for the most part amicably and there is nothing court-ordered about your arrangement except what you presented to court to get the whole process over with. Your priority are your sprouts. Sure, you want the appearance of family to be there as much as possible for your kids. So yes, you allow your ex to stop by and visit the kids sporadically. But sometimes those home visit liberties can be taken too far. Maybe your ex decide to do laundry at your place while he pays a visit to your brood or continue to exercise in your building’s gym and doesn’t even tell you he is there.
Not to make a big deal about it, but sometimes I feel that my ex still tries to claim his territorial stake on my home and maybe me. I have never stepped foot in his bachelor pad. He would not allow it and I don’t have any desire to visit. The kids stay there when it is his time to watch the kids. But he feels he can come to my place at anytime as this is where his kids live. Yes you set boundaries, but no matter how much you complain about your ex being far-reaching and pushing the boulders of your boundaries out as far as possible your demands go nowhere.
How am I suppose to move on in my life if there is this territorial stake on me and my living space? I continue to express that these liberties will not be here forever, as I do have hopes to eventually move on..maybe I will get re-married. This is not a response he takes lightly. To my ex it is like the joke of the day, says I should focus on having consistent dates with someone. I think he doesn’t want to face the reality that someone could enter my life, my home and our sprouts lives. I guess it is every father’s/ex-husband with kids biggest scare, someone else establishing a relationship with your children when they don’t have primary custody and their influence on their kids life is limited.
Who wants to deal with that Baby Daddy Drama?
Ex-spouse of both genders eventually adapt to the post-divorce arrangement. We are alright with our exes dating life as long as it is just that “dating”. But there will be the day when someone becomes more significant in your ex’s life. I have had discussions with other divorcee ex-husbands who I have befriended over the past couple of years that are active in their children’s lives, and they have the same stance as my ex. One guy said he would be comfortable with his ex-wife getting re-married after four years, by then his small children would be older and he would have established significant influence in his children’s lives.
What if his spouse moved on and met someone well before the four-year mark, should she hold out on her happiness to be considerate to the father of her children? Or what if I decide to remarry, will my ex try to punish me by holding back child support for his children or requesting full custody? Is this the invisible leash that keeps us divorced women from moving on into another happy and fulfilling relationship? While I know legally you can’t hold back child support just alimony. But many men consider it a blend or threaten for custody.
Now as an understanding mother and ex-wife, I am openly willing to reconsider our custody agreement. In fact, I hope to aspire to have a blended family like the Kardashians and Will and Jada Smith and possibly go on a family vacation like Demi Moore and Bruce Willis whom brought their significant others. While I am sure it took some time for those relationships to evolve to that level. I do hope to find a balance between maintaining a healthy co-parenting life and pursuing happiness with someone who is understanding and accepting of my family.
Finding a balance and establishing boundaries to co-exist between co-parenting and having a vibrant and promising single life is a challenge. Your kids well-being are your priority but as a divorcee you should be able to have a second-chance in love as well.