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How much support should I give my ex?

(70 Posts)
tobeworriedaboutthis Wed 17-Jan-18 08:47:37

I light of a recent thread, keen to understand how much support I should give my ex, or if I'm giving too much - both financially and in other ways.
Have 1 child.
Been separated over a decade.
Financial-
Pay above the CSA agency specified amount.
Pay private education.
Assist in emergencies.
Pay for holiday/weekends away.
School trips.
Clothes, uniforms, school supplies
Gifts/parties etc.
Other ways
Alternative weekends
Extra during holiday
Happy to swap weekends when needed, add extra weekends if needed
Help moving house
Generally if ex is in need she will call me for help - car broken down etc.
Someone to talk to when in need, give advice extra
Very much on the same path when it comes to parenting etc.
Is this the norm ? Or am I blurring the lines/being taken advantage of?
Live currently with my wife of 3 years - no kids.

OP’s posts: |
NC4now Wed 17-Jan-18 08:49:45

Sounds good to me. Unless there’s a problem I wouldn’t change anything on the back of a MN thread.

WitchesHatRim Wed 17-Jan-18 08:52:24

I wouldn't be happy if I was your DW if you're ex is using you as emotional support.

Things like car broken down she needs to sort herself same with moving house tbh.

Calaisienne Wed 17-Jan-18 09:01:14

Everything above and including "extra during holidays" is for your child not your ex, and is what all parents should do for their children whether resident or not. Swapping and extra weekends, this depends if it is a two way street or just you giving extra (and are you being fair to your new wife/husband/partner?)
Emotional crutch, cheap labour for house move sounds odd unless you have genuinely moved from being an "ex" to being her "best friend"

saladdays66 Wed 17-Jan-18 09:24:04

If you're paying substantially over the CSA recommended amount, that would be a problem if you and your wife want to have dc and you don't have enough money to support both.

Does your wife mind your ex using you for emotional support and practical help and advice? Sounds like she hasn't moved on.

tobeworriedaboutthis Wed 17-Jan-18 09:30:39

Wife seems unhappy with changes to routine at late notice, as If I'm honest she changes/moves things more that we do. She thinks I give too much emotional support and can't understand why ex comes to me. But I help because I don't want to see my son upset (knock on from his mum being stressed) Same regarding money, if ex gets in a pickle she'll come to me and I help her out. Wife hates this, so I generally do it then tell my wife after and deal with the inevitable shit storm.

OP’s posts: |
FlippingFoal Wed 17-Jan-18 09:44:35

Support your child fair enough but the level of "Support" you give your ex is likely to encroach on any relationship. If you look closer you will find the people who say it's ok are usually the exes themselves ;)

BellBookandCandle Wed 17-Jan-18 09:53:14

Looking back now, I was a bit like your Ex-W when ExH and I split. I twigged when my car broke down catastrophically (about 10 months after we split) and he was the first person I went to call.

However, I had a real lightbulb moment and suddenly realised that he wasn't there for me anymore/my emotional crutch and that I had to start taking responsibility for me. I suppose it was the first step in moving on.

Maybe you'd ExW needs her own lightbulb moment.......and maybe you can help by stopping being her "superhero" who fixes everything. Maybe start by offering advice rather than taking action.

Weezol Wed 17-Jan-18 09:59:52

The car breakdown and house move stuff is too much. I would be annoyed at that, especially as you've been separated for 10 years. You need to stop being the first port of call for her - the adult you prioritise should be your wife.

jaimelannistersgoldenhand Wed 17-Jan-18 10:06:47

Lucky son and ex. I take it, your ex hasn't got a new partner?

If I was your current wife, I wouldn't be impressed though. The emotional stuff (unless it's about the child) sounds too much to me. As you're clearly very wealthy a lot of the help can be bought in via tradesmen etc so doesn't require lots of your energy and time.

WitchesHatRim Wed 17-Jan-18 10:07:33

Same regarding money, if ex gets in a pickle she'll come to me and I help her out. Wife hates this, so I generally do it then tell my wife after and deal with the inevitable shit storm.

I don't blame your DW.

Your ex needs to start standing on her own 2 feet.

swingofthings Wed 17-Jan-18 10:22:53

There is no right and wrong. I know separated families that operate as you do and it works very well. You have to remember that what you do, you do it for your kids, not your ex, the outcome is that she benefits directly from what you do for your kids.

It sounds like you are posting because it is an issue with your DW, so this is about your marriage, not what you should/shouldn't in relation to your ex.

You need to take into account what you are happy to do because it doesn't impact negatively on you in any way, what you are not happy to do but still do because it benefits your children, and what you are happy to do, but need to reconsider because it is affecting your wife.

WitchesHatRim Wed 17-Jan-18 10:55:43

You have to remember that what you do, you do it for your kids, not your ex, the outcome is that she benefits directly from what you do for your kids.

Sorry but I don't completely agree.

There is a time when his ex needs to do things for herself. They are no longer together she can't keep using him as an emotional crutch.

If he is also using family money (which it is as he is married) to continually bale his ex out then I can see his DW point.

Turnedacorner Wed 17-Jan-18 11:07:36

Agree with everything @WitchesHatRim has said. I feel sorry for your DW.

Notasperfectasallothermners Wed 17-Jan-18 11:11:07

Do you also wipe her arse??

SandyY2K Wed 17-Jan-18 11:12:15

I'd be pissed off if I was your wife.

Your Ex needs to join the AA or RAC.

She needs to lean on other people for financial support and emotional support.

It's too much and it's impacting on your marriage.

My brother said he started teaching his DS DIY around the house, so his Ex would stop asking him for help and his DW didn't like it.

I agree that those who don't see it as a problem ... are just like your Ex.

It just seems like you put the feelings of your DW as secondary.

Alienspaceship Wed 17-Jan-18 11:15:03

Providing general, life related emotional support for your ex wife is not appropriate. (Totally different to emotionally support each other about child related issues/difficulties). There should be clear boundaries with practical support too.

Adviceplease360 Wed 17-Jan-18 11:21:16

How old is your son?

Magda72 Wed 17-Jan-18 13:33:41

Totally not appropriate. If I were your DW I would be both furious & upset.
Anything to do with your son - fine, but otherwise back off! You have one wife not two.
If you’re divorce over a decade your son must be a teen at least so any emotional support he needs can be given directly to him.
Your exw should not be leaning on you & you should not be enabling her.

ALLIS0N Wed 17-Jan-18 13:56:39

I think you need to look at this the other way around and see the amount of support that your ex is giving you.

She took maternity leave to care for you child
She has been the main carer for your child for the last ten years
She has sacrificed her own financial security,pension, savings and career progression to do YOUR share of caring for your child
She is happy to swap weekends when you need it
She will go on doing most of your share of the parenting for at least another ten years

All this has allowed you to develop your own career without having to go part time, take a career break or time off during school holidays or when you child is sick.

You ( and your new wife I assume ) are now reaping the financial rewards of this. You can go out when you want, go on holidays where you want, regardless of the needs of your child. Your ex cannot.

I’d be very happy if my step children’s mother did half as much as this. I hope you and your wife appreciate her.

WitchesHatRim Wed 17-Jan-18 14:01:00

I think you need to look at this the other way around and see the amount of support that your ex is giving you.

Sorry but that is some twisting there.

She will go on doing most of your share of the parenting for at least another ten years

Not really, they have been separated for over a decade so that would bring the DC into their 20s.

I hope you and your wife appreciate her.

hmm

Magda72 Wed 17-Jan-18 14:03:03

@ALLIS0N - nowhere does he say exw sacrificed work/personal time or anything else! What they're doing is called co-parenting.
But there's a big difference between co-parenting & remaining emotionally dependent on your ex!
As an exw I would be mortified to ask my exh for extra money & beyond horrified if he gave it to me especially behind the back of his WIFE!!!

SandyY2K Wed 17-Jan-18 14:08:45

Your wife is exceedingly tolerate. Id go as far as divorce ...because it seems you are at the beck and call if your Ex. She shouts for help and you go running...with house moves...car breakdowns...that's just crazy.

I don't know any wife who would be comfortable with the amount of rescueing you do.

Those who say it's okay...are just like your Ex. Inconsiderate and a bit like leeches.

saladdays66 Wed 17-Jan-18 15:03:40

I think you need to look at this the other way around and see the amount of support that your ex is giving you.

shock

She has sacrificed her own financial security,pension, savings and career progression to do YOUR share of caring for your child

Presumably she and OP came to a muturually agreeable financial settlement hmm

She will go on doing most of your share of the parenting for at least another ten years
We don't know who wanted the divorce. Perhaps it was the OP's ex. And they've aklready been divorced for 10 years. The dc could be 17!

ALLIS0N Wed 17-Jan-18 15:33:46

@ALLIS0N - nowhere does he say exw sacrificed work/personal time or anything else! What they're doing is called co-parenting

Well of course he didn’t mention it. Because like 90% of fathers, especially those who are NRP, he totally takes it for granted .

If the OP was caring for the child 50% of the time he wouldn’t be paying child support. As no doubt he would have listed it his op , along with things like paying school fees. Which I assume is in fact for his child and not “support” her gives his ex.

And it may be called co parenting but it doesn’t mean that she’s not doing the lions share of the work.

And I don’t really see why it’s relevant who wanted the divorce.

When OP says that he helped his ex with her house move, again I assume that his child was also moving house.

And that he helped with the car problems because his ex uses the car to transport his child.

It’s interesting to see how many people seem to think that the default for a male parent is 0% input and for a female parent it’s 100% .

So if a man pays for his kids school uniform, he’s a hero. But if a woman pays for half of it, buys it, labels it , picks it off the floor, washes and irons it hundreds of times - well that’s no big deal is it? Not even worth mentioning.

As I said above, I’d be delighted if my husbands ex did as much for him and the OPs ex does for him.

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