Need advice to help a friend.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-15-2005
Need advice to help a friend.
Wed, 12-07-2011 - 7:34am

I have a very dear friend who has been legally separated for nearly two years and getting close to finalizing the divorce. This is about the second or third time her husband has walked out on her and the family each time sighting his need for independence and freedom since he missed out by getting married fairly early on (on his early to mid twenties). From what I've heard he and the wife had MANY problems especially when it came to lifestyle, etc. He has also called her some four-letter adjectives and names (though I can't say that she didn't do the same...she does have a temper...but I can't prove it either way). He as also accused her of being a bad mom and being not worthy of respect from her kids (this, totally not true) and his family is extremely not fond of her. So, now that he's living the single life...he continues to include not only his kids but her in plans. They go Christmas shopping together, make plans to take the kids out of their respective birthdays together, even though she hosts something seperate for her side and he does the same for his...they then unite for a day out with the family. She constantly calls him to help her paint, move furniture, etc...stuff he grunted about doing when they were still married and living under one roof. He 'does' help but does half a job and so her family, has to step in and help...yet ....

There are a few people we work with who are interested in meeting my friend, but she doesn't seem interested , which is fine...maybe she's just not ready to move on..who knows why...but... there anyone else besides me who consideres it peculiar that after so much turmoil and animosity

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
Wed, 12-07-2011 - 8:10am
Hi Citris--

Well, if you consider they obviously loved each other enough to get together, to marry, to have kids together, and they still do have kids together,'s not all *that* peculiar-----to me, it seems like they have trouble living together, but they can still enjoy each other's company when no longer forced to live together, plus he may be feeling "guilt" or basic "obligation" to exW/kids to be doing all of these "help around the house" type of things now.

What I DO know----is that if/when either of them *does* sincerely "move on" and want to start a new relationship with a spouse-----this stuff (doing *some* things together) generally becomes a HUGE negative issue for spouse with the new spouse.

My SO had an exW who had NO desire to be married to him---but still wanted/expected him to be available 24/7 at her beacon call to fix all things/maintain all things (eg clean out her garage and basement---rent a carpet cleaner and clean all the carpets in her house, etc!), meanwhile continuing to rage to him what a worthless guy he was, and he should be doing so much MORE for her and the kids!!

AND---I've had friends/acquaintes who did the "famly" holiday celebrations/vacations -----HUGE mistake----as the kids grow up to see this as "normal"--------GENERALLY , when a "new spouse" comes on the scene----typically the original spouse is NOT happy about inviting that one, and so the "tradition" dies-----> and the kids learn to "blame" the loss of this tradition onto the NEW spouse........and a whole negative thing for making a blended family happens, ..........that would/should NOT have even been an issue if truly separate events occured from the get go.

IF all parties would have "no" issue with celebrations with ex spouses present, ....yes, this situation could work. But, ....the reality I"ve that typically at least ONE of the adults involved DOESNT take kindly to, that makes it unworkable.

If the woman remarries---her new husband WONT take well to ex H waltzing in and doing "whatever" in the house, etc.---*might* be different,....but I'll lay my money on the fact that it wont.

FWIW----you can mention these things to your friend------but, experience....she's going to do what she's going to do.......and have to learn via experience as well.

("Peculiar"....maybe, but not completely out of the ordinary.....)
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2011
Wed, 12-07-2011 - 9:38am

I tihnk its very odd, for all of the reasons mentioned above. Once you break up the marriage, there are boundaries to be establsished, so each can move on. I would not consider for one second doing anything, not even christmas shopping with ex, much less go on

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 12-07-2011 - 1:40pm

I actually read somewhere that it's not good for divorced parents to take family vacations together w/ their kids because it gives the kids the wrong idea like maybe the family will get back together.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2011
Wed, 12-07-2011 - 2:58pm

I guess I just don't see it, since I can;t stand the sight of mine, I don;t even like to talk to him. But one of my friends is so close with her ex that her current DH will call him and borrow money - all around weirdness!

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 12-08-2011 - 12:54pm

There is a wide range of what works for divorced couples with kids.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-30-2004
Tue, 12-13-2011 - 8:59am

Maybe they can only take each other in small doses.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2011
Sun, 12-18-2011 - 5:19am

I knew a couple...(a friend of a friend kinda thing). They where married ..but for whatever reason


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