Living with your ex is a far from ideal situation. It is, however, a reality that more and more people are having to face in this economic climate.
The most common reason for people having to live with their ex is a financial one; that they need to raise enough funds to move out. It may be the case that you have a mortgage together, and that you need to wait until the house is sold before either of you can move out. It may be the case that you cannot raise funds for a deposit, or afford to pay for new furniture for your new home. There are many things for you to consider. Here are a number of hints and tips to help you to survive living with your ex.
Can you really live with your ex?
You must thoroughly think through and decide whether you really can live with your ex. In circumstances where you have been subject to physical, verbal or emotional abuse then you may have no option but to leave. If the circumstance is so unbearable, then maybe you should consider whether you can move in with a family member or a friend temporarily. You may also be able to find a room to rent in a house share if finances allow it, just until you get back on your feet. It is good to keep all options open.
It is really important to try and communicate calmly and fairly. This is clearly easier said than done, however, it is important if you are to try and work things out with your ex. If something is upsetting you and vice versa, then you need to sit down and talk through it. The more you communicate, the more you can hopefully agree and the smoother the separation process will be.
Think sensibly. If you bring a date or new partner to the house whilst you ex is there, then your ex is bound to be upset. You need to respect each other's feelings and cooperate with each other if you are to get along together. Remember that even if your ex says they are happy with something, for example, you dating someone else, they are likely to still be upset about it in some way deep down. You can be open with your ex-partner, without giving too much detail and upsetting them. It is about creating boundaries and sticking to them.
It is always useful to have a chat and discuss some ground rules. That way, you know exactly what the boundaries are, you have communicated your feelings with each other and everything should go smoothly. One rule might be that your ex does not want to know if you are dating again. Maybe, once each week, you would both like an evening with the house to yourself for some "me" time. You may also decide that you will both contribute to the groceries or that you will buy your own. There are many issues to consider.
Children always come first
One mistake which is unfortunately made by many parents, is parental alienation, where one parent purposely (or sub-consciously) alienates the children from the other parent. This is extremely damaging to the relationship and will only result in upset for your child, which is clearly not in their best interest. Secondly, parents make the mistake of fighting with the children as an audience, which should be completely avoided.
It is important that both parents spend time with your children. If you can still do activities together as a family, then great. It will be much easier if your child still feels as though they are part of a family unit. If, however, it is too painful or awkward to spend time together with the children, then you must work out a weekly schedule or routine that you can stick to. Your ex might work late on a Wednesday night, for example, which gives you time to spend time in the home, or whilst you have some "me" time, your ex could take the children to the cinema or to see their grandparents. It can all work out if you work together.
Do not get too comfortable
If you are getting on well, then it can be easy to fall in to a trap of staying for the convenience, especially where children are concerned. Even though this might well be the case, whilst living together, it will be so difficult to move on with your new lives. You should continually be looking for a new flat or house and the ways and means to move forward. You should never stay together for the children.
Remember that you are going through a tough time and it is likely that you will need some support, whether that be professional such as counselling, or just support from friends and family. It is good to talk and to get everything off your chest. You may also find support in terms of child care and perhaps financially.
Check out the Separated Dads Forum... It's a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads.
Me and my fiancee have been together for 6 and a half years.During that time I have suspected cheating, witnessed drug abuse, and caught them lying about it(nothing concrete on the cheating though).In this time we have had 2 children.I suspect that my son isn't biologically mine, but my daughter is me to a T.I have tried to leave several times but have always been guilted into staying; whether it was for the children to have the appearance of one cohesive family unit or if I am afraid that if I left, I would not see my children again.I know that this relationship is dead but can't bring myself to experience or cause the pain necessary to end it.I feel no joy around her and if she were to be the one to end it, doubtful, then I would not fight it.Should I top the band-aid off and hope we can still co-parent together?Or should I suffer in silence behind a Fawkes mask?
DepressedPlumber - 28-Oct-19 @ 12:33 AM
My boyfriend and I have been drifting apart for some time. 2 weeks ago I found out he was cheating on me (not going into details). He broke up with me during the fight and when we calmed down I said we definitely shouldnt be together until he knows what he wants. He said he wanted to work things out. We have a 15month old and live together. We arent able to afford a place of our own separately. We constantly fight and annoy the hell out of each other but I keep trying to make it work. He tries for a bit and then reverts. I'm terrified to break up because I still love him, suffer from bad anxiety and the thought of living under the same roof makes me sick. But the fighting needs to stop for our daughter. It isnt fair to her
Sarah30 - 29-Oct-18 @ 3:38 AM
Shacal30 - Your Question:
My husband and I is now separated and now will be going throw divorce. my whole story is like this in the year 2013 I left my son with my ex for me to come and study back home during my studies I see that I dont see my son. I flew back because loads of arguements and he then advise me that we are breaking up. I then said okay let me have my child back and no problem, but then I find out he hide the passport. later on during the year he tells me come and take my son for holidy, I took the opportunity and flew back and when I took my son for holiday and was advised by my lawyers to look for custody and I did that and won. but he then puts an appeal and his appeal was grranted and they gave back my child to him saying that my child abitual resident is in Cyprus and therefore case should be heard there. my lawyer is working very hard to file my case. but all I want to know is how likely I can win this
I am afraid we cannot predict what a court may decide.
SeparatedDads - 9-Feb-16 @ 1:55 PM
My husband and i is now separated and now will be going throw divorce. my whole story is like this in the year 2013 i left my son with my ex for me to come and study back home during my studies i see that i dont see my son. i flew back because loads of arguements and he then advise me that we are breaking up. i then said okay let me have my child back and no problem, but then i find out he hide the passport. later on during the year he tells me come and take my son for holidy, i took the opportunity and flew back and when i took my sonfor holiday and was advised by my lawyers to look for custody and i did that and won. but he then puts an appeal and his appeal was grranted and they gave back my child to him saying that my child abitual resident is in Cyprus and therefore case should be heard there. my lawyer is working very hard to file my case. but all i want to know is how likely i can win this
Shacal30 - 9-Feb-16 @ 6:48 AM
My partner has recently found out he s the father to a year old baby with his ex wife. He has now decided to pursue her for joint custody. He stays with me and advised he will have the child at mine, I do not want anything to do with his ex or the child. How likely is he to get awarded joint custody when his home address is mine and I categorically do not want involved? I've suggested he gets his own place, perhaps my feelings will change in the future but this has came as a shock.
advice? - 26-Jan-14 @ 9:09 AM
What rights does an International father outside the EU have when it comes to contact with his children. This couple were married in Turkey and had an oral agreement between themselves they would live 6 months in the UK and 6 months in Turkey. After returning to the UK and having their child the English wife decided she wasn't prepared to spend anytime living in Turkey at all. The marriage eventually broke down and the father has since moved back to Turkey. He has asked his wife for a divorce but she threatens him with not allowing any contact with his child if he pursues the divorce avenue. At present she allows telephone contact and has in the 6 months of him returning to Turkey taken the child to visit him once, for a week. This father is obvious distraught as what to do and is missing his child terribly, the child is now 4. What action should this father take to gain some access and regular contact and what options are open to him?
TD70 - 2-Oct-12 @ 9:10 PM
Hi Peg42.... It's an extremely awkward situation for you all, as you say, it's complicated.How are the kids reacting to the introduction to a new man in their Mums life?
It all seems very amicable but I wonder how your wife would feel if it were the other way around.... there seems to be a lack of respect....I realise your main concern is the impact this situation is having on your kids, so i'd suggest you sit down with them, and your ex and ask them how they feel and take it from there....
Factually though, it all comes down to money!!If either of you move out then the person who is claiming child benefit will be the person who is considered to be the PWC (parent with care), even though she may spend less nights with the kids, the fact that she is claiming child benefit is what matters.
I have heard of couples going to court and agreeing to a settlement that allows the PWC to have the house and all the contents but this doesn't mean anything to the CSA... they are only interested in what you, the NRP (Non resident parent - even if you still live under the same roof) earns....
Citizens advice bureau are quite good and most legal practices will give you 30 minutes free time for any legal questions you may have.
dreamer - 27-Aug-12 @ 4:06 PM
My wife and I have amicably separated after 16 years and she has recently applied for divorce in the last 3 months,I am not contesting as discussed and agreed with my wife. We continue to live together with our children 10 & 14 in the marital home for financial reasons and cannot sell the home, which is jointly owned. My wife spends more time away from the home now because she has entered into a relationship from a person she met via a dating website. My concern is the impact this has on the children as she is introducing this man to them and inviting him to our home when I am away. Although she stays away for a number of nights, he has never stayed for the night at our home.
This situation although amicable for the best part of a year now, is clearly far more complicated and does not feels right in the slightest. Especially involving the children in a very new relationship before the end of the other.
Is there any legal redress for this situation or do I have to put up with this until we divorce formally and move out?