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When does it become inappropriate? Where is the line?

(63 Posts)
Andy85 Sun 21-Jun-20 13:59:39

So this subject is obviously personal to me but the question I'm asking is more generic.
When 2 exes have children together they will always be in each others lives. But when new partners are involved when does a relationship between coparents become inappropriate? In particular when behaviours change (ie when the 2 exes arent close but then start to become closer, while in a romantic relationship with someone else?) What are your opinions?
A few examples below:
Tagging each other on random things on social media
Spending the day together with the kids, as a family
Letting the ex stay over at your house with kids when you are away
Going along to the exes close family gatherings with him
Going on holiday together as a family
All examples are not including the new partner. More examples welcome.

Just trying to see what everyones opinion is on what is maintaining a good relationship for the children and when it crosses the line into being inappropriate and unfair on the new partner.

OP’s posts: |
Shoxfordian Sun 21-Jun-20 14:18:43

All of that would be over the line for me if I was the new partner

ComtesseDeSpair Sun 21-Jun-20 14:35:40

The holidays definitely, the family gatherings too unless it was e.g. a very significant one-off event. Days out as a family possibly also, although I’d be fine with it if it was to celebrate the DC’s or one of the parents’ birthdays or for Mother’s or Father’s Day, or something where recognising that they are all a family regardless of whether the parents are a couple is nice.

I think it’s generally a good thing when two people who have produced children together remain amicable / friendly and on good terms. It’s a good example for the children and also far better than them constantly having to worry about doing or saying the wrong thing to one parent because mum and dad cant stand to hear about each other or whatever.

I think if a new partner doesn’t like that then that’s up to them, but the way to deal with it is to realise that it’s not the relationship for them rather than bully and try to make their partner do what they want.

Andy85 Sun 21-Jun-20 14:36:06

Well I posted about one of those things a while ago as it happened to me and I got slated and told i was just jealous.
I do agree to an extent because it is important for parents to maintain a good relationship for the kids. I dont think all of the things on that list cross the line, but some do.
Are there kids in your life?

OP’s posts: |
TheBlueStocking Sun 21-Jun-20 14:46:07

Sounds absolutely fine. And actually a really good thing. It's horrible to be involved in a situation where people are co-parenting and hate each other. This sounds nice to me!

PumpkinP Sun 21-Jun-20 14:49:10

I wouldn’t date someone who was too involved with their ex still slept over the exes house and went on holiday together and spent days together as a family. That’s too much for me. Mind you I wouldn’t want to date a man with kids anyway, possibly would consider if the kids were adults.

FudgeBrownie2019 Sun 21-Jun-20 14:53:37

Ex and I do family days together for birthdays and celebrations. We speak frequently and I'd say we're friendly. We're both married and there's definitely nothing residual on either side - he's a good guy and his DW is lovely. I don't think friendship and spending time together is inappropriate if it's possible and both sides are respectful.

I think the main issue is when one person feels pushed out or jealous about the relationship it can become a bigger deal than it needs to. Ex's DW isn't that kind of person, and nor is DH. So none of us feels the need to control or supervise the situation. There are occasions I'm not here to take DS over to Ex so DH does - he and Ex will have a cuppa and chat about football/rugby/golf and the impact of that on DS is that he sees the two men who love him most respecting one another. None of us has all the answers or gets it right constantly, we just wing it and try to make sure we're all on the same team for DS. It's worked ok so far.

Bunnymumy Sun 21-Jun-20 14:57:52

Potentially the ex staying over when you are not there and the going on holidays with them are not ok. IF you are not ok with it.

But then - if you arent, then break up. Because clearly she has a great relationship with the father of her children and that is more important than a bf. It wouldn't be right for you to ruin this. But if you arent comfortable with it, that's your prerogative too. Either learn to accept it or leave.

Clearly you arent comfortable with any of it. Let alone what should be perfectly fine. So why are you hanging about?

The reason you got slated before was because it was a family party right? (Assuming you are that poster). Which should really be perfectly ok. I dont see why it would bother you.

Clearly you two arent suited.

Bunnymumy Sun 21-Jun-20 15:03:48

Ps: I should say, if you think there is something going on more than friendship then of course that's a different matter entirely. But still, the point is that you two aren't compatable.

Andy85 Sun 21-Jun-20 15:57:29

Bunnymumy firstly the question was, where is the line and what is inappropriate. By the sounds of things there is no line for you and nothing is off limits. You suggested that it is potentially ok for an ex to stay over when the partner is not there. In my opinion there is never a situation where that is appropriate. And potentially damaging for children. The children may grow up believing it is ok to sleep with different people.
Secondly this post was not about me but a general wondering. Not all of the situations mentioned have happened to me. Some have happened to people I know. I also did not suggest that all of the actions were inappropriate, again was looking for opinions on where the line was.

OP’s posts: |
bubbleup Sun 21-Jun-20 16:06:21

Your line is where you draw it.

My line is where I draw it.

I'd be happy with all of those things and wouldn't expect a new partner to try and stop me doing anything that gave my kids the best, happy family life they could have.

Aerial2020 Sun 21-Jun-20 16:12:16

I'm all up for co parenting. It's very important.
But I would not want my ex on holiday. God no. That is different to other occasions as it's a lot of time all together. Unless you were in a group maybe?
Each to their own, what works for some people, doesn't work for others.

Andy85 Sun 21-Jun-20 16:22:36

Bubble up and aerial 2020.
So let's say you were in a relationship with someone with kids. And they dont get on with their ex but make it work as best they can for the kids. You are together for a couple of years, boundaries are defined and everything is good. Then your partner starts doing things with their ex that they obviously think is ok but you find inappropriate. Your opinions of where the line is differ. You are invested in this long term relationship. What do you do?

OP’s posts: |
bubbleup Sun 21-Jun-20 16:26:17

Realise that my partner is not as invested in my 2 year relationship as he is with his life long relationship with his children. And agree that that is the right priority for any parent.

I'd also wonder why he thought it a good idea to go on holiday with someone he doesn't get on with and see that as being a benefit to his children.

mindutopia Sun 21-Jun-20 16:30:59

All that sounds fine for me, though the social media thing is a bit more weird.

But apart from social media (didn’t exist then), all of it is exactly what my parents did after their divorce. They most certainly did not want to get back together! But it was wonderful for me as a child. I feel like they made a lot of effort to make sure I was happy and they were kind to each other in front of me. My dad had a long term partner at the time who was absolutely fine with all of it.

Aerial2020 Sun 21-Jun-20 16:39:26

Speak to them

category12 Sun 21-Jun-20 16:39:41

Do you trust the guy or not? If you think that he'll shag his ex at any opportunity, then there's no point being with him.

Phoenix21 Sun 21-Jun-20 16:40:37

I think it becomes inappropriate when one or more of the parties involved isn’t happy with the boundaries.

If children, mum and dad are happy with arrangements but partner isn’t then its up to mum or dad to decide which relationship they will prioritise.

If it’s the parental/child relationship is the priority to the then surely the partner then makes the choice as to whether the relationship is for them or not?

Is the partner welcome to the events/holidays?

Aerial2020 Sun 21-Jun-20 16:40:39

Ask what has changed and have a conversation

Looneytune253 Sun 21-Jun-20 16:40:45

Come on. It just sounds like they are making it work for their kids!! Surely that's the best thing to do for the children's sakes. If the new partner can't deal with that then they need to split up. I know of a family locally that does just this and it's really admirable for the children. The mum is remarried and in fact the ex often takes her new son with the siblings. It's what's best for the children

Bunnymumy Sun 21-Jun-20 16:44:57

Maybe her ex is her best mate, they have kids together and she doesnt like being home alone so be comes and crashes on the sofa. Then it's fine. If however her partner is uncomfortable with it (which is understandable) then it wouldn't be ok. Depends on the fine print.

Based on your update...
Boundaries clearly arent defined though. Otherwise she wouldn't be doing things with the ex that made him uncomfortable. Youd think after 2 years he would be able to have a Frank conversation about things that he found inappropriate and reach some sort if understanding. If he cant, then these insecurities or, her inappropriate choices, will only fester and make things unlikable. Or if they can talk but suitable compromise not be reached then surely he should exercise common sense and walk away.

Bunnymumy Sun 21-Jun-20 16:45:52


MargotMoon Sun 21-Jun-20 16:46:14

I think most of those things are ok, especially days out with the kids or staying over with them if the other parent was away. (Not sure how the latter one leads to affecting kids' attitudes towards promiscuity??)

I'd be less comfortable with significant events or holidays, I would not expect to be invited on these but would want holidays with my partner and his kids on our own, not with his ex.

Bunnymumy Sun 21-Jun-20 16:49:11

And, if he dislikes the -super involved- ex of a woman he has only been seeing 2 years and has no ties to (eg: kids or house) then he is setting himself up for a life of misery needlessly anyway.

toobusytothink Sun 21-Jun-20 16:50:55

I wouldn’t be happy with any of those things except going out as a family/having a family meal together for eg one of the kids b’days.
And maybe allowing the ex to stay over for a night if for a special occasion eg Xmas eve so you could both wake up and see kids do stockings (I let my ex do this)
But definitely not as a normal every day thing. And definitely not going on holiday together, and the social media thing wouldn’t be a deal breaker but it would make me sad as all the other things clearly relate only to the kids and for their benefit but the tagging thing is more personal.

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