need advice on husband's girlfriend..separated

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-25-2014
need advice on husband's girlfriend..separated
Sun, 01-26-2014 - 12:04am

My husband (only separated) moved out 9 months ago.  We are intending to divorce, but are working out financial issues before filing.  He told me when he said he wanted to proceed with  divorce that he had been dating.  I knew from facebook that he was also.  I have accepted that he has moved on. I have seen him in public with her.    I don't think it's morally right, but I can't control that.  We have 2 children.  One saw him with her by accident. Then the other told me that dad's "friend" was at his house when he had the kids.  I really don't want the kids to be around her.  Their time with dad is their time... not date time for him.  Plus I think it sends the wrong message as to what is acceptable to the kids.  They know we aren't divorced. I don't really want to say anything to him because I don't want to ruffle feathers when we are going into the divorce on good terms.  I am the main bread winner and have the most to lose if there is an arguement.  I don't want to tell the kids that it is wrong because #1 the younger one will parrot back what I say and #2 I don't want to say negative things about their dad to them.   But I don't want them to grow up thinking that it is ok to date and whatever else while you are still bound to another by religion and legal marriage. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009

First of all, how old are the two children?  I agree with you if they're very young, like under 5 or 6......not on moral or religious issues, but simply bcause it can be confusing for young kids........especially if this g/f is just the girl of the moment......or maybe she's going to be around forever, in which case they might as well get to know her.  You could try to nicely talk to him about "his" time with the kids........but even if she's around he's still with them.  Another thing is "sleep overs"........if they're staying with him overnight.  That's not a good idea.  Maybe your best bet would to be very honest with them.......explain that Mommy and Daddy are not going to live together anymore, and now he's got a new lady in his life, and maybe someday you'll have a new man in your life, too.  It's going to happen whether you like it or not, so it's best to accept it, and be honest with your kids about it.  If they're pre-teens or in their teens, they know all about it.......and will think nothing of it.  Kids are much more resilient than you think.....and as long as you don't say negative things about him (or her), they'll be just fine.  If it were me the only objection I would have would be if it was a different woman every time they were with him.  And when the time comes, the same goes for you.......don't bring "dates" home for your kids to see.  Only if it's a long term relationship should kids meet the new man in your life.  Good luck with the you can get on with your life and not worry about what he's doing.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

The thing is that you can't really control what your STBX does.  I could see if you had just separated a few weeks ago but it's been quite a while.  What is taking so long in the divorce?  I think you should try to see if you can speed things up.  I think there is a difference between spending time with the GF while the kids are there and having her stay overnight, again it depends on the ages of the kids.  I don't think it's that bad if this is a serious GF--the problem for kids is when there are different people coming in & out.  You can decide that morally it isn't right for you to date while you are still legally married--some people figure that as long as they are living apart and getting divorced, it's not that big a deal.  I can tell you, as a divorce lawyer, that legally no one cares about this.  I think I'd only bring it up with him if the kids are complaining that she is there all the time on visitation and it seems to be making them unhappy that he isn't paying attention to them.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2010
Mon, 02-10-2014 - 10:43am

I don't know what you mean by working out financial issues with him before filing. I certainly hope this doesn't mean that you are working with him regarding custody, any assets or a settlement. If you haven't consulted an attorney, I'd advise you to do that ASAP.  You definitely need temporary orders that will protect your rights and your children. IDK what state you live in but here once I filed, I was given temporary custody and possession of the house and property, plus the orders clearly defined  what was and was not acceptable in regards to the children/visitation and protected all bank accounts which kept him from cleaning them out. The laws here specifically stated that my STBX could NOT have overnight visits with his flavor of the week while he had the children. The judge went to further lengths and implemented that he could not have the children overnight at all. Obviously, he could see that my XH would not follow the law and made that judgment to protect my children from their father's irresponsible behavior.

I totally agree with you that dating and sex while separated is wrong. So many people think that a separation gives them a license to do whatever they want. What's morally right usually means nothing to the courts though. But what he's doing is sending the wrong message to your kids, especially if they are staying overnight with him while he has her there also overnight. It sounds as though your kids are younger, as you say one will parrot whatever you say back to him. All the more reason to get temporary orders regarding visitation. You can't make him be a good father or do what is moral, but a court order can spell out what is and is not acceptable. He clearly has no regard for the well being of his kids. One of them seeing him with her by accident had to be hurtful and confusing to that child.

As a divorce is inevitable here, waiting any longer to file is just going to drag this out longer and do more damage emotionally and financially to you and your kids. My divorce took over a year to finalize. Trust me, you don't want it to take that long. You may be parting on good terms now with everything amicable but it can turn on a dime.  My X would make an offer, I'd accept and then he'd reneg...over and over and over again. As you are the main bread winner, you definitely need to see an attorney ASAP!

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Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Wed, 02-12-2014 - 11:32am

  The point is to 1.  get the divorce 2. then go from there.   That he has a gf/liv in whatever really is not a issue.  What is are the not getting down to business.  Once a person has decided on divorce the point is to be as amicable as possible.  Itt's business!  As the main earner protect your income.  That may be easy or not depending on the state.  There are ways around a lot of laws and tax considerations.  

  The point is to be free.  IMO the kids already knows he has a gf.  Not a big deal.  Getting free is the big deal.  Not indulging in emotions or belief systems. 


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-15-2014

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-24-2007

Morals aside...

Odds are, the children don't understand or care about the legalities.  I lived apart from my XH for 10 months before our divorce was finalized but to my children, the "divorce" occurred when we physically separated.  

I know it's tough to see your STBXH with another woman but it will happen and it's necessary to deal with it with grace.  My XH has been through several women (and I am now very good friends with one of them) - all I care about is whether or not the women treat my children well.  My children have complained about a couple of them but as long as there isn't any abuse - I don't have a say in his personal life.  Remember, if you have a say in his personal life - he gets a say in yours.  For me, the best course of action is to keep my mouth shut and to remind my children to always be respectful even when they don't care for Dad's latest girlfriend (with him, the relationships never last anyway).