In response to my article, “Newly separated man seeks custody advice,” I received this comment from a guy offering some divorce advice of his own:
I think the only part of Jackie’s divorce advice I’d disagree with is letting your ex into your house. Be nice, don’t make negative comments, but don’t let her in to Your house. It’s a space that you need to create and define with your kids and make it a home with their help.
Get their help to add personal touches to their rooms. Go on excursions and take pictures. Make collages that you can hang in their rooms. Put pictures on the fridge so every time they go to get a favorite snack they have a happy reminder of the things they’ve done with Dad. Have a sleepover with their friends. Peer support becomes stronger than parental influence as they grow up.
Have the custody schedule modified (if it isn’t already), to be four on, three off, then four on again. Having them for a greater block of continuous and consistent time should help. That way you and your ex are both staying in touch with the school schedule and alternating having weekend time with them. Stay engaged with them. They will get better over time as long as things are consistent.
“Be nice, don’t make negative comment’s but DON’T LET HER INTO YOUR HOUSE??!!!??” I literally wanted to scream and tell this guy how damaging this kind of divorce advice is.
He then goes on to say, “It’s a space that you need to create and define with your kids and make it a home with their help….” I love that and the entire rest of what he says.
But let’s back up and talk about why I am astonished that he would tell someone not to let his ex into his house, especially a person whose children are traumatized by the separation of their parents and having a hard time transitioning!!
First I want to make it clear that I’m not expecting any man (or women) to open his or her home to the ex, have him or her come over every night or have a key. I know there are boundaries that need to be in place, and I know there is a lot of hurt and other negative feelings when a couple splits up. But what I’m talking about is letting children show their mom their new rooms and all their stuff, their pictures and all the other wonderful things mentioned in his comment.
I have personal experience with this. I got divorced several years ago. A few years after my divorce, my ex remarried and bought a house with his new wife. In the nine years they lived there, I never saw the inside of the home. I dropped off and picked up my kids from there at least 200 times and was never invited in. In fact, they both made it very very clear to my kids that I wasn’t allowed to go into the house. A couple more facts: I wasn’t a stalker, my ex didn’t leave me for his new wife, my ex and I weren’t on bad terms, in other words there was no reason not to make my kids feel comfortable–like they had two parents who loved them and that they had a sense of family even though we were divorced.
Looking back, it was absolutely disgusting and selfish for the couple, and you know who it hurt the most? My kids. They were only 7 and 9 when they moved into the their home, and I could see in my kids’ behavior the awkwardness they felt about the whole situation.
EVERY SINGLE time, I would drop them off or pick them up, I could see it in their faces, how weird and uncomfortable they think it was that I had never seen the beds where they sleep, never seen the table where they eat, never seen the closet their clothes hang in, and never seen the pictures they’ve chosen to put on their walls.
When children of divorce see their parents get along (even just civilly) it makes them beyond joyous. It makes them feel loved and secure. When they see their parents give each other dirty looks or act like strangers, it kills them.
Several years later, (around the time COVID started, but even before then) I got to be friends with my ex again. He would come over and bring the kids food and sit at our kitchen table and talk with them, and their faces would light up. Seeing their parents laughing about old times and just being friendly was giving them a sense of security and confidence and love. My kids are now adults and they still enjoy it when my ex comes over and we are all together.
Does that mean that both of us forgot about the past? Nope. Does that mean we want to get back together? Nope. Does that mean we are forgiving things we did to each other? Nope. It just means that we have both moved on from the divorce, we are putting our children first, and we are coparenting beautifully. People think that when your kids get older you no longer have to have contact with your ex, and that is true technically. But what I’m finding out is that kids, even as adults have problems where they need their parents on the same page.
My divorce advice:
To be able to put your kids first like that and be friendly with your ex is also wonderful for your own self-esteem, sense of peace and happiness. I’m not saying it’s easy, and I’m not saying we are perfect, but we do the best we can and our children are better for it.
So, what I want to say to this guy who seems to have his children’s best interest in mind (with the exception of the deep resentment he harbors for his ex-wife, to the point he won’t even let her in his house) is that being a divorced parent (actually, just being a parent) means being selfless and making the relationship civil, even if you have really negative feelings towards your ex. And you do get something out of it for yourself–a happier, more peaceful life.
So, if your child asks, “Dad, can mom come see our new bunk beds?” and you say no, you might want to think about it.
I’m so tired of hearing single parents (men and women) talk about how much they love their kids and how they are trying to make things good for them, and then putting their own need to “stick it to their” ex ahead of the kids, causing them pain. One example includes a couple who had separate birthday parties for their 8 year old daughter. The same set of friends has to go to each of the parents’ homes for a birthday party because the two have so much hatred they can’t even be in the same room together. It’s very childish and selfish, and weird for the kids.
In closing, I don’t know how to tell people to let go of bitterness. I once had a woman say to me, “I really want to let it go, but I don’t know how.” One step in the right direction is to let the love you have for your children conquer the pettiness and the clinging to the past. I know it’s really hard, and I’m not telling anyone to forgive and forget and be best friends with your ex. Just be civil and kind enough for the benefit of the kids. In any decision you are trying to make, ask yourself one question: What is best for the children? If you base your decisions on this, you will never make a bad decision.
Like this article? check out, “Can’t Get Over My Ex-wife” Says Divorced Man
I have been divorced for a month and recently I took the kids trick or treatfor halloween. We spent about 2 hours in the neighborhood where they live after getting to my ex. I tell her that my bladder is about to eexplode and if I can use the bathroom. She tells me no and shuts the door. This is the same house that is still under my name and we shared for two years. Interesting how people change in an instance.
I won’t let my ex in my house because they punched me in the face the last time we saw each other.
I don’t want or need that in my life.
To read this article makes me very sad, but I know that I am doing the right thing by me and the kids.
I’m a survivor of physical and other violence from my ex-husband. I separated from him 10 years ago. I actually paid off his mortgage before we separated. I’m now working hard and buying my own home. Two days ago my ex said over the phone that he wanted to stay at my place, during the time I’m going to the USA for a week, so that our teenage son could attend the local gym. When I said that I’d be uncomfortable with that, he said that he could pick the lock and get into my place if he wanted to and it wouldn’t be a crime if our son needed something because he lives there most of the time. I said that our son could make a list of things he needs before going to his dad’s so that there’s no need to access my house in the week I’m away. I also found out about a gym that our son could attend very close to my ex’s house. However, I feel vulnerable again, knowing that my ex could pick the locks to my place (no point changing them) and gain entry contrary to my wishes.
You are a complete exception to this article. You should let the police know about his threats. Do not tolerate this behavior. You should also invest in a burglar alarm. I’m so sorry you have to deal with this.
Pat, I agree with what you are doing. I read this article and it makes feel sad that the advice is to “suck-it-up” and stop being bitter. Whoever wrote this has not been repeatedly punched in the face and choked by the other parent. My daughter has a father that is physically abusive, i even had to stop him many times from harshly spanking our kid. I’m happy that Im out of that hell and I can be a better mom to my children. And I want my kid to spent time with her dad, but things cannot go back to normal with a person that lied in court while trying to put my family in jail. My older daughter defended me one night, told my ex to stop coming into our property, to stay at the curb.
For those reading this who took it the wrong way, I would like to clarify something. I am by no means telling men and women to let thier ex’s in thier homes if the ex has physically abused them or if they are afraid of that person in any way. In the article, I should have clarified that. If you are afraid of your ex-spouse or if he or she has done anything threatening, I am 100% in agreement that that person should not be let into your home. I assumed men and women would understand my stance on that issue. Obviously, I was wrong.
Maybe Gaslighting people to your expectations of them isnt the best reaction but hey. Its a process.
Pat, no one would expect anyone to endure that for the simple reason it is not only destructive for you but dangerous for the children. When violence or abuse are involved the decision has to be taken and I would agree you are right to take that stance.
BUT when there is only broken emotions I agree with the response above and would add that neither parent is starting a new life, they are starting a new chapter, everything that has gone on before will remain a part of everyone’s life – you can’t walk away from the past.
To prevent the children from allowing a parent in means you are not providing a home for them, simply a roof over their heads. A true home is where they can feel at ease and comfortable enough to invite loved ones in. The fact the parents have fallen apart does not remove the love they each have for the children and they will want to share their experiences and homes with both.
Lets face it, time flies, they will soon grow up and be less inclined to share these moments so I agree “sucking it up every now and then” is vital in the positive development of the children, you may actually get pleasure from the happiness this brings them.
What is your suggestion for when you do let the ex in and they are disrespectful to your partner and family members? I’d prefer to never allow her back in but I don’t know how to not disappoint the kids. It’s our home and her negativity is not welcome.
this issue needs to be addressed directly with your ex. I would have this conversation and tell her, “I want to let you into our home but your behavior and negativity is unaccpetable. Change it or you will no longer be welcome here.” Right? See what she says.
My ex was physically abusive, I put up with it for years because our baby was so little. One day he almost choked me, the police came to the house and took him and put him in jail for one week, and we separated, and I had to put a restraining order on him. He tried to get full custody, but he has a bad history with drugs and violence and the police, but I wanted my baby to have a dad, so we agreed to shared custody, he gets her on weekends. He lied to the police about my other kids, tried to put them in jail, but the court cleared it all up. Today, my kid is 14, and my ex still tries to control my life, he tells me if I date men, he will go to court again to take our daughter away. I live in a house that my children bought me, the same children that he lied about to the police. He knows not to come into the property, but he comes in to defy us. He has told many lies to our kid about me and her siblings, but we don’t tell her anything because we want her to have a good relationship with her dad. But he hates us and wants our live to be miserable, like his. He resents us when we dont invite him to holiday dinners, as if he deserves a place in our family, a family that he tried to put in jail. I’m tired of telling him to wait outside the property, Im waiting for my kid to turn 16 to her a car so he doesnt have to come to pick her up again, because his presence is painful in our house. I put up with physical abuse, so now I should continue to put up with his misery at my house, a place that is supposed to keep me safe from him???
No. You should not. This obviously does not apply to you. I”m sorry you have had to deal with a violent man and physical abuse. Being scared is exhausting and it is the worst feeling in the world. No one should have to tolerate it.
Douglas L Self
Your ex-husband has remarried and it’s his and the new wife’s HOME. Just because the children you share parentage of reside at times in HIS (and his new wife’s) home does NOT give you some magical right of entry, nor expectation of ‘hospitality’. He has his own life now, please let him live it, and be gracious enough to remain outside UNTIL you’re invited in. If the man and/or his wife aren’t comfortable with you being in THEIR home, it’s THEIR HOME, period!
And you owe no apologies if the same ‘rule’ is observed when it’s his turn to pick up and/or drop off the kids at YOUR home. If that’s how it’s going to be, deal with it. The two of you are DIVORCED, and by definition, especially if he’s forking over copious alimony, LEGAL ADVERSARIES. Deal with it, or, if that’s the case, quit living off him. And even if money isn’t involved, don’t glom off him emotionally. Get your own b/f or husband, or whatever ‘floats your boat’, and live your OWN life.
Do not let the ex in your home ever!! And tell the kids they are not allowed to invite her in. My stepdaughter let her mother come in the house when we were not home. She started going through closets and making a pile of things in the living room on the first floor or items from all over the house that she wanted to take out of the house. We came home and caught her red handed. Then she hit my husband in front of their child. Worst part is that we could not charge her with burglary as Texas Law says that the child can let in whoever they want if they themselves have access to the home. The police were called and they refused to come. My husband was too nice to press charges on her hitting him. The result of all this is that our 14 year old stepdaughter lost her key to her home and one of us has to be there at all times she is in the home. DO NOT EVER LET AN Ex-Spouse in your home.
I understand how you might feel, and in your situation, you should not let his ex into your home. That said, not every couple is like this, so you shouldn’t really make a blanketed statement to not let a spouse into your home EVER. In many cases, it works great and is good for the kids. Not your case, obviously. There are many factors which have to be weighed, which include the time the couple has been divorced, if they are on good terms, if they are both over the breakup, if both are stable, etc.
I think it is true that this lady Sandra has made a minor blanketed statement advising people not to ‘ever’ let their ex’s into their homes. I believe people have to make a consideration for themselves as well as their children because ultimately the children will benefit from happy and stable parents. Jacqie I feel that the stronger ‘blanketed statement’ is the one in your article saying that you are ‘astonished and sickened’ that someone would give this advice. Why? Have you considered their circumstances? I think that in some circumstances it is best to and in others it’s not.
You do have a point, I should hear the circumstances and “Let your ex into your house” shouldn’t be a blanket statement. Every divorce is different, but the point of the blog post is that if there aren’t really any red flags, then there is no reason not to let your ex into your home. It’s just such a healthier perspective for children.
My ex husband only comes into my house when my kids are home alone. He doesn’t ask to come in, just assumes they want him on. If I’m home, he parks on the corner of the street and will not come close to my home. He is taking advantage of my daughter. I’ve asked him not to put her in that position, and asked to come when I’m home. He never responds and ignores my requests. He also doesn’t pay his child support. He doesn’t have a job. He always finds a reason to go to the basement when he is at home with her. I told him I am delivering the rest of his belongings to his new home and I don’t want him here since he can’t communicate with me.
My daughter feels very caught in the middle. I hate that he manipulates my daughter. She is 17, and will be at college soon.
John M Maher
Never let your ex in your house if the situation is still toxit…knock the eyes out of the dragon and keep them guessing. I have been divorced 11 years now and have never let her through my front door and never will. Very sick person. My house is clean and safe for my two teen boys and thats all she needs to know. I have been in their homes because they invited me in and I stayed a short time and left. We have nothingbin common as far as being friends. I’m sober and she and her new husband are total drunks. Stay smart men dont let them in if it is still toxix. The person who wrote this article has been throught a nice normal divorce not a crazy sick divorce. Amen
You are still only seeing one side. It’s always going to be uncomfortable for the kids, unless you’re trying to tell them divorce means nothing and you don’t have to respect other people’s boundaries. Letting you see their room is such a small, small thing. Once they let up that boundary, then the kids want you to experience their experiences, their relationships with their stepmoms family or friends, their vacations with that family, it just doesn’t stop. So instead, you support them in their relationship with their father and stepmother explaining that some people place certain boundaries so that they can treat others well. When we overstep boundaries and make people uncomfortable, they start to treat others poorly. I am a biomom and a stepmom, I have seen and been on both sides and making sure the Stepmother’s boundaries are respected should be a HUGE priority because it directly affects the children and how they are treated. The harder you make their marriage and life, the worse your kids will be treated. Let them go extreme on their boundaries, and if you respect them and remain not a toxic threat, those boundaries could become less important. It takes time, and that marriage is experiencing one of the worst possible starts to a relationship, so it is fight or flight trying to figure themselves out. Let them do so, and if they wrwant reasonably good people it will pay off in the end.
If you divorce it’s time to move on. Sometimes I don’t think some of these men and women know what divorce means. If you are complaining that your ex won’t let you into her/his house you shouldn’t have decided to divorce then. If you wanted your kids to have a great life you should’ve thought about it before signing those papers. You can’t have it all. Someone is going to get hurt once you divorce and your lack of boundaries and respect states that you are selfish and you want everything to be all about you and no one else’s feelings.
@Charles, the beauty is you men can go any where. Tell the kids you need a bathroom break and drive to a gas station. Always trying to mark territory or snoop when it’s over. I’m with her. Your an adult, act like it.
What do you do when your ex is disrespectful towards your wife? I’d prefer to never let her in our house again. As far as our kids are concerned they don’t even notice nor care that she hasn’t seen their bedrooms. It doesn’t even cross their minds.
If you have a great relationship with your ex and everyone is comfortable with it. Sure, go for it. But the reality is most divorces are extremely high conflict. I tried so hard to get a long with my husband’s ex. I thought it would be better for my stepson if we could all get along. She just didn’t want to cooperate. Nothing we could do about that. Also, why would they need to show you the other parent their room or the house they live in? My stepson never seemed interested in doing this…
I find it so funny how parents can argue until blue in the face with each other. Kids hear it. Kids feel the tension. Kids see that parents cannot get along. They function like this for years, always in front of the kids. People finally get divorced and all of a sudden everyone has to get a long for the sake of the kids. Where the heck was that while they were growing up? Nobody cared how they treated the kids. What the kids saw. A divorce happens and everyone needs to get along for the kids. Too little too late and the kids know it. Why pretend
What if the ex of my husband shows up when he’s out of town? And stays for five six hours starts opening up the cupboards, wine, fridge like she still lives there. Help me understand that please. I think your view is very idealistic, and your ex relationships sound very civil… but that’s not always the case.
I find my ex being in my house to be invasive and intrusive, especially since I’ve began dating. We are nice to one another and get along great however he does not to be in my house. There is simply no reason for it. When he comes to pick our kids up he waits on the driveway and our kids go out to meet him. They have no issue with this and I am positive it is not causing any “issues” with the kids either.
My parents invited my ex-husband and his girl friend to their home without me. My daughters explained that after the new girl started speaking bad about me at a dinner date with the family with out me. I believe my parents was not right by this action and with disregard to my feelings.
Once you remarry it is time to stop letting your ex into your home. It is disrespectful to your marriage and effects the intimacy immensely of your marriage without you realizing. Would you really like to be at work while your spouse’s ex is hanging out in your house with him/her and the kids? I don’t think so. Show some respect for your marriage. Also I might add, if your ex really was concerned about their kids they would demonstrate what respect for a marriage is. They will take their kids to their place and quit hanging out in your home or find excuses to come in. If they wanted to be hanging out in the same home with their kids they shouldn’t have divorced. These bio parents are so selfish and disrespectful it is unbelievable.
So I agree and disagree with both. If appropriate, then yes for hte kids sake let your ex in. When she has snuck into your house, stolen items, used the kids to gain access without permission, then hell no. the kids have been told and will continue to be told their mom is not allowed in our house because of her behavior.
It’s not always a parent being “toxic.” An ex who is in your house can use what he sees there to undermine your alimony support. You have every right to your privacy.
Not letting your ex see their children is traumatic for the ex and the kids. Not letting then shows immaturity, if your wanting to get back together it won’t happen if you don’t change for the betterment of self and kids.
This might be a little different but it would be nice to see what most peoples perspective is on this.
After 5 years of being separated from my daughters mom I began a seriously relationship with someone new. My new girlfriend had a real issue with the fact that I would still go into my ex’s house to help with things my daughter needed. For example, I would help with putting furniture together or with her hamsters cage, etc. My girlfriend stated that it was no longer my place and that I needed to have boundaries. And that I was still acting like my former family was still the same when it was obvious that it was not.
Is this ok or is not proper or respectful to your new partner to still be going to your ex’s house to help around the house with things that pertain to your kids? Please chime in.
The safest method I have found; is pulling up in your car outside the residence and honk once til the children are sent out if the parent doesn’t realize you’re there at the time honk again in 10 mins its important to make sure you are not obnoxiously honking and record this, I also keep a recording device on the dashboard with audio and video. The honk will also alert the neighbors you are there and have witnesses should the ex decide to file more false allegations. Everyone’s situation is different but I survived false abuse allegations, false child abuse allegations physical and false sexual abuse allegations, computer hacking allegations, stalking allegations, harassment allegations…the days of false allegations are quickly coming to an end due to the multiple cell phones we now have. All you really have to do is keep a very low profile and video document everything and no one I mean no one can touch you.
I’m on the fence about all of it. For starters I remember when my dad would drop me off and as a kid it was awkward and I hated it that he didn’t know or see that part of my life. As the new bf however it drives me crazy sometimes. My gf and I have been together for a couple years now, the ex and her get along pretty good, sometimes comments are made and we get wind of them through the kids but whatever, there a half truth to it I’m guessing to see what conflict or reaction they can get. They get along great where I get stressed out is she gets upset when I won’t call the place home or stay there for more then a night and I’ve explained to her look I don’t consider this place my home, her ex comes in whenever he drops off the kids and she does the same with him sometimes she even falls asleep there waiting for him to come back with one of them so she can bring them all home. I think a lot it stems from the fact that they stayed in this relationship till the kids were becoming teens just so it would be easier on them. They both talked about divorce many years ago and just coexisted for the past five years for the kids sake. Here’s another example she’s been sick and at the hospital I went to stop over and drop off some things at the house and check on the animals, before I can even pull in I see him there with the kids all inside and I’m guessing he was making them pick up their rooms and such as they were a mess. It’s just messed up and I’ve explained to her when we have our own place I don’t want that happening as it will be our home and I don’t think it will happen. With that being said I want those kids to be able to show off their rooms to their father not out of making him jealous but out of knowing and remembering what that was like.
The ex should be allowed into the house, once in a while, if there is a particular reason (e.g., for the kid to show him something in the house). Otherwise, he should stay in the car!! Or on the porch. That’s what I do at pick-up / drop-off, and that’s what I wish my wife’s ex would do (instead, he comes in, every time, and hangs around, making me uncomfortable). He is not my friend. I don’t want him in my house more than once in a while, as needed by his daughter.
My partner used to let her ex in, but the ex took it as a way of trying to get her back and check if she had been seeing anyone new, to a point of going through her phone when she wasn’t looking. Allowing an ex in creates feelings and is unnecessarily dangerous… If a relationship was that civil to allow the ex into the property, then it was probably strong enough to repair the relationship and remain together in the first place. People break up because being together became unbearable or made them miserable, shaming a parent into being depressed by allowing their ex who made them feel insignificant whilst together to continue to make them feel insignificant forever will lead to alot of suicides if anything… Exes rarely get along, no shame in that, and making yourself miserable and removing your personal space, for the kids to have a moment of fake getting along, possibly damage your new relationship, will just cause the kids to suffer in different ways… Tbh this just sounds like the visiting parent feeling left out and bitter, the kids don’t care and would prefer the seperate parents to stay seperate and happy. My parents are divorced when I was young and I would of hated and seen it unreasonable for my dad to go into my mum’s home, and they got along fine…
Very one sided article. Good the author later admitted it was, and brought some much needed nuance to the original article. Shame it wasn’t edited though.
Glad to see others stepped in to point her in the right direction, as it seems she had no idea.
I don’t agree that you “have” to let your ex in your house. I suffered months of huge anxiety when she would come in to pick up the kids. She would make herself at home — pretending that cheating and lying and giving me the false hope of what was for her “pretend” counseling for months where I spilled my guts and heart and offered to try everything — while she was still cheating — was just water under the bridge. Like this could be gotten over immediately and we’d be friends right away.
No. I am allowed space to grieve and heal. We are divorcing. This was her choice to chase “excitement” and break up the family. Look, I put on a good face for the kids. I am not nasty to her, ever, and I work hard to communicate about the kids, and to her credit, she mostly does a good job with that as well. But I can’t fake friends. I never say a bad thing about her, and I tell my kids that she loves them very much, just like I do, and that that won’t ever change.
But I am still in therapy over what happened, and my anxiety goes through the roof when I am around her (we are only a few months in). I want to be more chill about everything eventually, I want to forgive fully, I want to move on. I don’t want to be sad and distrustful for the rest of my life. But it takes a minute, and by God, I get to have that minute. And so do you.
The long term goal is to feel neutral — and if a friendship happens, great. But do not feel pressured to neglect your own space for grieving and healing to conform to some folks’ idealized vision of feel-good low-impact divorce. You get to feel what you feel. Try to heal, but you get your space and your time to do it. That’s the absolutely least you deserve.
My therapist encouraged me to set a boundary. I was afraid to do it, but I eventually told her I was uncomfortable with her in my house. That I wasn’t trying to be mean, but that’s how I felt. She doesn’t come in now. I have space to heal. I think it will get better, but I don’t have to conform to what she wants.
My question is … my ex is emotional abusive but i allow him into my home that im trying to make mine and my children because im trying to get on enough for the children to feel comfortable. But everytime i do he takes it a step too far.. like his new gf shows up settles her self on my front room floor and wraps her christmas presents up.. and when i explain im going out i get told yeh thats fine once they are finished… when i speak up im not heard. Its also damaging to the kids to see there move being walked all over because shes trying to deal with the dad… let alone the new gf thats a freak
In a nutshell, I am 2 years divorced from my ex-wife, whom a therapist told me she was very self absorbed. She divorced me. Towards the end of our marriage, I essentially caught her cheating and she gaslighted me, but she never came clean even with the evidence I had. The entire marriage was like walking on egg shells. During our couples therapy sessions before the divorce, which eventually therapy sessions moved to 1-on-1, the therapist told me she was hiding and wasn’t willing to come clean and understood why reconciling was not in my best interest. He also told me she seeks happiness externally, which explains why nothing was ever good enough during our marriage. We divorced and I co-parent with her as friendly as I can. She recently sold her house, but she has a month gap before she can move into her new home. She asked if she could stay with me for a month and is willing to pay me. I told her politely I needed to think about it and followed up with a question if she was going into the office daily, since I work from home. She responded with, do you still hate me or are you dating someone? Or Both? I guess I am not interested in getting into back and forth. I thought it was a fair ask to understand how much time I would have to be around her, since my comfort level is still not that high being around her for extended periods of time. I have the kids already 50%. Am I overreacting?