His ex-wife lives next door

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-05-2010
His ex-wife lives next door
Tue, 06-15-2010 - 4:59am

My fiance and I live in a difficult situation: his ex-wife lives next door. How this came to be is that her parents bought the house next door so they could stay there on visits. When she left him, she moved over there (it sat empty most of the year). We believe that she is living there rent-free and doesn't have any intention of leaving. His house has been for sale for the past year, but, given the economy and that it is a large, expensive house, we don't anticipate it selling any time soon. Actually we would prefer to stay here. We have made an offer to buy her out on the house if she will move, but we don't believe she will take it.

The problem is that I don't see myself being able to stand living next door to her indefinitely. He doesn't at all want to live next door to her either, but he doesn't see how we have a choice until the house sells. I have told him I will bear it for another year, in hopes that the house will sell, but, if it doesn't, I want to move into a rental house. That of course will mean paying for two houses at once. He is skeptical about whether we could afford that, but I have been renting an apartment this past year, and I think we could afford it if we had to. To me, this seems a reasonable plan. It will be two years that I have put up with being next door to her, and I don't think it would be fair to ask more of that of anyone. Some people, however, think I should "suck it up" and just learn to live with the situation. My fiance has agreed to the plan for now, but I do wonder what will happen in a year. We are getting married next month, and I will naturally be living with him full time.

Am I crazy? It is an unbearable situation to live next door to someone's ex-wife, isn't it? Does anyone think I am being unreasonable? How am I supposed to "learn to live with it"?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-20-2008
Tue, 06-15-2010 - 9:12am

Hi and welcome to the board.

"Learn to live with it" is really not an acceptable answer and it is not an answer you want to hear from the person who supposedly has your feelings as his #1 priority.

The choices we make in thought, word and deed inevitably return to us in kind.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
Tue, 06-15-2010 - 9:19am

It is an unbearable situation to live next door to someone's ex-wife, isn't it?

Well, IMO it certainly COULD be "unbearable", but it would ALL depend on the individuals involved......(number one being your PERCEPTION of the situation.....)

(I mean...I have neighbors I NEVER see, and dont talk to besides a nod when we're both outside at the same time.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-04-2006
Tue, 06-15-2010 - 11:28am

Hi and welcome to the board.

I'm curious, what is the reason you find it intolerable to live next door to the XW? Is it because it's the XW? Has she done things to make it unbearable? Do they have children, etc, etc, etc?

I honestly can't say one way or another, if you should "suck it up", however, I think you should look into why it bothers you so much, especially if she's not causing any trouble.

IMHO I will say this. I agree with another poster who talked about resentment. You said you'd give it a year. That's great and all, but what if it takes 5 years to sell his house, he loses his job, etc? In this economy, anything can happen. My DH is in sales and can't find a job (he's been out for 8 months now). I never expected to have to sell my home, move to an apt and support him. But that's where we are.

I'd think about this....is she doing something to make it hard for you to live there? If so, then he needs to see what he can do about selling the house. The one year rule is decent, but realize you will be putting your marriage under monetary duress (one of the biggest reasons for divorce). Can he take a hit and sell it for less? Can he rent it out? What are the options? Work together w/o giving him ultimatums.

If she's not doing anything, then I'd look into yourself and ask yourself why you have a problem with it. Especially if you know he doesn't want to be there either, however, the economy isn't helping the situation. I'd really ask yourself why you feel threatened by her.

Because we aren't sure why you don't want to live there....it's kind of hard to say I agree or I don't agree. Yes your DF should take your feelings into consideration, but with that said, you also have to ask yourself what is best for the upcoming marriage. Making demands and having resentment can destroy a marriage. Add money issues and trying to sell a house. You're looking at a lot of stress on the r'ship.

So, look at it from all angles.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 06-15-2010 - 12:50pm

I really don't think most people would want to live next door to an ex but there are definitely diff. degrees of how bad it would be. Although I would feel funny living next door to my ex & his new DW cause I wouldn't want to look over at them having a barbecue outside or things like that, if I were the ex next door, it's not like I would be over there bothering him or trying to make his DW's life miserable. As someone else said, the ex could live across town but still find a way to make your life miserable if that's their relationship or you could live next door & not be bothered by her. So is it that she's horrible or you just think she'll be nosy & looking at everything youare doing & you'll feel self conscious.

As far as the money, I guess if you could afford an apt. now & he can afford his house, then you can afford to rent an apt somewhere else even if his house doesn't sell. I don't know if that really makes much economic sense & it's harder to sell a vacant house. Unless his ex is a real nightmare, I don't think I'd shoot myself in the foot economically just to get away w/ her because as Cheryl said, that's another level of stress to deal with.

BTW, one guy I know got divorced. He had a 2 fam. house and for some reason, as part of the settlement, his ex was allowed to live in one of the apts. in that house for a certain time and then he lived downstairs WITH HIS MOM. I don't know how, but he managed to find a GF & moved in w/ her, but they got another house. But he was over-extended financially & ended up having both houses foreclosed on.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-07-2004
Wed, 06-16-2010 - 10:02pm

Am I crazy? It is an unbearable situation to live next door to someone's ex-wife, isn't it? Does anyone think I am being unreasonable? How am I supposed to "learn to live with it"?

What makes it unbearable?

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 06-17-2010 - 2:19pm

I have to echo what everyone else has already said.

Avatar for iernie
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-22-2003
Tue, 06-22-2010 - 8:24am
I was going to ask also if you could rent the house out that you live in now.

Feb 21 Warner Robins GA


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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2000
Mon, 06-28-2010 - 8:06am

Hey there,

I lived next to my XH for two years and actually it worked out for our children to have access to both of their parents after having both of us for 14 yrs.