Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Divorced but living together...

(22 Posts)
Daenerys2 Tue 26-Apr-16 06:38:05

...to parent the children. Can this ever work?

tsonlyme Tue 26-Apr-16 06:42:35

I'm currently living under the same roof as my ex (not divorced, only recently made the decision to separate after 23yrs). My aim is for him to move out as soon as possible, how can you possibly move on emotionally when they're right under your nose all the time? Not to mention how awkward it's going to be if either of you met someone new.

Unless you have a way to divide the house so that you don't have to see each other all the time I can't see it working at all.

Do you eat together? I'm still sharing the cooking and eating with my ex but it's largely for practical reasons and because I don't think it would be very nice for the kids (older teens) for that to be a battle ground. He's a shit cook though hmm grin

Daenerys2 Tue 26-Apr-16 06:48:06

The practical reasons are what's making me think of this. Not happy but don't want to upset kids who are 9. Don't want to do the couple thing anymore and haven't for a long time. Just not compatible but don't hate each other.

tsonlyme Tue 26-Apr-16 07:44:42

Same here, we don't hate each either, I sometimes think it might be easier if we did as things would be more clear cut and I lose my rag and kick him out.

It's that old adage of staying together for the kids not being a good idea. Not only does it model a poor relationship model to them but from what I've heard the kids will be very upset later on when they realise that you were unhappy and stayed unhappy because of them.

We told out teens last week and it honestly wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. There was a bit of shock initially but now they seem more interested in the practicalities. I think there will be further upset when he does eventually move out but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. What I'm very keen to model is how to have a healthy breakup which involves not being secretive and not being shitty to each other. So far so good.

absolutelynotfabulous Tue 26-Apr-16 07:49:34

I'm like this, but not married. I'm finding it ok, as he works long hours and is quite often away. As it's his house I'll be the one to leave anyway. That's the bit I'm finding hard.

peppatax Tue 26-Apr-16 08:33:12

I did this for 5 months and like absolutelynotfabulous I found the hardest part leaving in the end, leaving DD behind initially while I got my new place set up. The only thing I would suggest to be mindful of is that once the relationship is over, one or both of you may be happier and then he children might wonder why you can't get back together. That takes careful management.

absolutelynotfabulous Tue 26-Apr-16 11:38:59

peppa I'm worried too about dd (the practicalities, not just the emotional stuff...)sad.

It'll be a while until I can be fully functioning in my own right.

Jan45 Tue 26-Apr-16 16:02:08

Not on a permanent basis no, unless you are both happy to live a lie.

1stsignofspring2016 Tue 26-Apr-16 20:36:21

If you are seperated, but not divorced I dont think you can make one person move out

However you dont have to cook, clean, do laundry for him

Have you been to see a solicitor to start the ball rolling for divorce ?

I would be looking to make a quick, clean break

Daenerys2 Tue 26-Apr-16 20:52:20

Thanks for your replies. We just aren't working as a couple and haven't for a long time. The main issue is sex; I'm just not interested but also j feel we are totally different people to when we met 15 years ago. In the middle of this are two beautiful, innocent children who I don't want to hurt. They adore their father and he is a very good dad. We are both frustrated with the situation but I don't think it's fair to ask him to leave as it's more me to be honest. It's difficult as I don't want to hurt anyone but at 40 I don't want to waste our time if we aren't making each other happy.

Karaoke2queen Tue 26-Apr-16 22:33:58

We are in a very similar situation. Staying together for our son who we both adore. It's been 4 years since he told me he didn't love me any more. He wanted to leave, I resisted the split as I was scared & just not ready to admit it wasn't working. After a lot of heartache he said he was leaving, started looking at properties etc. But long story short, when push came to shove he couldn't leave. We agreed to stay together for our DS. It's been hard, really hard. But when I see them both together I think it's all worth it for the sake of our DS happiness. After all he didn't ask for any of this. But long term? Well I know we can't do this forever........ 4 years has been hard enough! The future scares me a lot ........ Previous post re DS being upset and feeling somehow responsible for our unhappiness??? That scares me too

springydaffs Tue 26-Apr-16 22:43:14

leaving DD behind initially while I got my new place set up

Peppa shock

Do tell us you got DD back? Because it's not unusual to lose custody in a situation like that ie leaving your kid/s behind while you set up a new home. Not recommended!

Sorry for the digression op. I don't think it's a good idea in the long term, no. You sound like you feel guilty for the split and feel you have to pay the price. I know it's not easy (I felt guilty when I left my marriage) but why you've split is irrelevant . You just weren't working and you were both very unhappy. That's bad for the kids - as is living under one roof when you just aren't into one another - imagine the tension! It doesn't bear thinking about. Better off for you to be living in separate houses, perhaps 50:50 care?

peppatax Wed 27-Apr-16 08:04:36

Yes springydaffs it was only a matter of days while moving but it was really hard. In the end, DD came to stay when her room wasn't set up but it's worked out okay as she remembers camping on the floor and choosing things for her room. We're 50:50 now and she's settled well into this routine but I still remember the pain of leaving.

Fueledwithfairydustandgin Wed 27-Apr-16 08:19:59

My SILs ex partners parents did this long term and it has a huge impact on him. I met him when he was uni age and he had so much anger and resentment. He was family phobic. He couldn't bear to be around happy families and didn't know how to function in a normal relationship.

ordinaryman Wed 27-Apr-16 08:24:29

I wonder how many of us are already living like this, but without actually agreeing it?

ie: the love has gone and one of us ought to leave, but with DC to consider, both parties avoid the elephant in the room and just become a defacto divorced couple still living together?

HippyPottyMouth Wed 27-Apr-16 08:26:55

Some friends of ours made it work for a couple of years. They got on well as friends but not well as a couple, so for a good while, sleeping separately but otherwise functioning as a family worked for them. Once they started to move on emotionally and want to date again it became awkward, and now they're in the process of living separately. This is the bit that's more difficult and is leading to arguments. It looks from the outside as though they've delayed the inevitable, but they did feel that it was working for quite a while.

springydaffs Wed 27-Apr-16 12:21:10

Even a few days is not a good idea Peppa - but glad it all worked out!

It's viewed as abandonment and the law is unequivocal on it.

Sorry to bang on though.

TooSassy Wed 27-Apr-16 12:58:38

Oooo. Not a chance

You can say you are separated/ divorced/ not sleeping together but what about the emotional crutch it gives? (and yes it does).
How does it work when you start dating? Would you like to meet another woman over breakfast one morning? In your house?
How confusing is it for the children? Especially if you do start to date.
The list could continue....

I think it's a minefield.

Plus I wouldn't go near anyone with this sort of set up. No matter how much I liked them.
I met someone recently in this situation. Ran a mile. Has emotional entanglements / messy written all over it.

Summerlovinf Wed 27-Apr-16 16:39:33

It's perfectly possible to co-parent and raise healthy, happy children. Really, the kids don't care that much as long as they are kept in the loop, get access to both parents and there are sensible arrangements for organising their things, friends, activities etc. No need to make a martyr of yourself for the 'sake of the children' these days.

penguinplease Wed 27-Apr-16 16:54:43

I lived like this with my 'ex' for years.
We didn't realise we weren't happy about it until I met someone else.
Then the shit hit the fan and the kids admitted they'd known all along and wish we'd separated our houses sooner as we are happier now.

peppatax Wed 27-Apr-16 19:40:57

I never knew about the 'abandonment' - I was obviously really lucky! I can sort of see why that law is in place but it was clearly in DD's best interests not to be around while I was moving into a new place when she'd only ever known living at her Dad's place.

springydaffs Wed 27-Apr-16 22:19:48

Many women have said the very same to a judge - that it was in the dc's best interests etc etc - because it was! - but have still lost custody.

It's a bastard law. Or at least enforced in a bastard way (imo).

sorry again for hijack op.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now