Monday, April 28, 2008

Does Your Ex Let His Girlfriend Sleep Over While Your Kids Are Visiting?

Dealing with your ex's new girlfriend is hard enough, but finding out she is sleeping over your ex's house while your kids are visiting can be too much to bear. The thought of another woman playing mommy to your kids for the weekend can fill you with rage, especially if you are in the early stages of your divorce and you have not had a chance to mourn the death of your marriage and work through all of the emotions divorce stirs up.

It is even worse if the woman in your ex's life is the same woman who broke up your marriage. During my own divorce my ex's mistress moved into his house. He had the kids for overnight visitation every other weekend and she was there, spending time with my children. Although it bothered me, I initially tried to accept the situation and give her a chance. That was until my youngest daughter, who was only about 6 at the time, came home and told me that she had slept in the same bed with this woman. Naturally, I was upset and called my lawyer. I was told that unless his girlfriend was a danger to my children, he was within his rights to have her sleep over when the children were there. I did however instruct my ex that under no cirumstances was my daughter to share a bed with his girlfriend. Thankfully, my ex eventually broke up with his woman.

If you are uncomfortable with your ex's girlfriend sleeping voer while your children are present there is very little you can do legally. You can try talking to your ex and setting rules and boundaries. Can they not share the same bed while your kids are there? Is it possible for her to sleep at a friend's or relative's house or if she does not live with your ex, stay at her own home during visitations?

As difficult as it is for you to have the ex's girlfriend sleeping over while your kids are there, imagine how the kids must feel. They have already been through their parent's divorce and it will take time for them to accept a new mate for either of their parents. The best way to introduce a new partner to take it slow. If your ex refuses to cooperate, then it is your job to explain to the kids about their Dad's new love and help them work through any conflicting emotions.

Then, in private, it is your turn to deal with the painful emotions this situation has caused. Feelings like anger, resentment, jealousy, and not wanting your ex to be happy are perfectly normal. Do not try and suppress them. Work through them and then try and let them go. Eventually you will reach a place where you can accept your ex's new girlfriend in your children's lives as long as she treats them well and is a positive role model.

No comments: