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successful co-parenting and being friends

(9 Posts)
ErnieAndBernie Fri 18-Nov-16 10:36:47

So we seem to have agreed to separate and stay friends and coparents (basically what we have been for years). But now we need to extricate ourselves from 20 odd years of living together without damaging our 2 dc (ages 9 and 4). We also need to sort out at least 3 if not 4 of us moving back to UK and all that it entails. This is all going to take between 9 months and a year I reckon. We will still be living together as a family during this time.
Is there anyone out there who actually gets on with their ex-dh? And how do you deal with each other, do you still do family things together? I think (at least at this stage in the discussions) we'd both like this as part of our lives. We rarely argue and taking the relationship part out of the equation might well make us better friends than we have been recently.
Any advice? Does being mates and co-parents ever work?

mrssapphirebright Fri 18-Nov-16 11:03:00

Me and my exdh co-parent well, i wouldn't say we are 'friends' as its' difficult to maintain that level of a relationship, but we are friendly and 90% of the time get on well. We are more like family - you know, when you wouldn't necessarily be friends with that person in real life, but you stay in touch because you are family.

We have two teen dc and share 60/50 access. We live round the corner from each other too. We do birthdays and xmas together and the odd day over the summer holidays. We have also done a weekend away at centre parcs with my dsis and her sons and exdh's daughter and her son.

I am re-married now, he has remained single (we have been divorced 4 years). My new dh and exdh are on friendly terms too, although it has caused a few issues with me and exdh, purely with adjustment type stuff.

In my opinion it can take a while for your relationship post divorce to settle, and it will change over time, especially if and when one or both of you re-marry etc.

ErnieAndBernie Fri 18-Nov-16 11:13:34

Thank you, it's nice to hear that it is possible to keep it friendly. Even though I was the instigator, its been a long time coming for both of us. Its going to take an age to sort out so I hope we manage to keep it civil.

mrssapphirebright Fri 18-Nov-16 11:35:44

I will warn you, it is hard work! smile

I was the instigator too (left for OM that i am now married to), but we were practically seperated and living under the same roof so no big shock to exh.

The trouble can often be around boundary settings, especially in the early days!

gothic1 Fri 18-Nov-16 12:09:07

Yes, it can work - me and ex ended our relationship 6 years ago after 15 years and 1 DC together. We are good friends and probably co-parent better now than when we were together. He has been in a new relationship for a few years and I get on well with his new partner - we all spend Christmases together! DC adjusted really well and while initially we still did 'family' things together, as she got older and once his new partner became a permanent fixture obviously that sort of naturally fizzled out 😊

Of course, it wasn't all easy. I would say the first year was the most difficult, as the relationship boundaries changed. I remember thinking at the time it would probably have been easier if we had hated each other - everyone seems to know how they are supposed to act and react in that situation! As much as we were good friends when we were together, making that mental and emotional split was much less straightforward than the actual physical and practical separation. It took both of us a while to find the right way to talk to and be around each other as 'a couple of friends' as opposed to a 'couple' - if that makes sense!

ErnieAndBernie Fri 18-Nov-16 12:33:34

gothic1 everything you said about it being easier if you hated each other - we both said that today in our counselling session. I feel a bit like there is no model for what we might want to do. I'm glad it works for you. I hope we can have the same thing

likeaZombie Fri 18-Nov-16 21:11:06

Different circumstances as we were only together for a couple of years and split when ds was only tiny but my ex and I are friendly now, we both have ds best interests at heart and respect each other for that. It's been a hard road and I could have bloody killed him at times but things are calm now, we can have a drink together or give each other a lift somewhere, friendly things like that and most importantly ds is happy and secure.
Good luck

Blobby10 Fri 18-Nov-16 21:19:39

My ex (well, nearly an ex - divorce should be finalised before Christmas) have had a very amicable split. After 20 years of marriage (22 together) and 3 children now aged 20, 18 and 16, we admitted we didn't enjoy being together and separated. He still comes round to see the kids and we are still friendly but I wouldnt want to spend time with him socially. The only thing we have in common is our children! However I have invited him here for Christmas Day and if I wanted, I could go to his mums with him and the kids on Boxing Day.

Separation under these circumstances doesn't have to be spiteful - it helps if neither party has someone else putting the boot in and filling their head with ideas of what 'should' be claimed etc.

redexpat Fri 18-Nov-16 21:25:07

I dont think friendship should be your goal. I think a good working relationship is more important than friendship. Think of him like a colleague.

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