• 28October

    Divorce Advice: Let Your Ex Into Your House!By Jackie Pilossoph

    In response to my post, “Newly separated man seeks custody advice,” I received this comment from a guy offering some divorce advice of his own:   I think the only…..

    In response to my post, “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 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 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 (and sickened) that he would tell someone not to let his ex into his house, especially a person whose kids 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’m talking about 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 personally have never seen the inside of my ex-husband and his new wife’s house. I have driven there and dropped off my kids and picked them up at least 200 times and I’ve never been invited inside. Does it bother me? Only for this reason: it bothers my kids. Immensely.

    EVERY SINGLE time, I drop them off or pick them up, I can see it in their faces, how weird and uncomfortable they think it is that I have 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 kids 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.

    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 hatred 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 for lack of better words, sucking it up every now and then.

    So, if your child says, “Dad, can mom come see our new bunk beds?” and you say no, then shame on you.

    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 has 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 quite disgusting.

    In closing, I think it really sucks. 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.” You know how? Let the love you have for your children conquer the pettiness and the clinging to the past that doesn’t mean anything anymore.

     

     

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    Jackie Pilossoph

    Divorced Guy Grinning is a blog for men facing divorce and dating after divorce. It's kind of like hanging out with your platonic female divorced friend and hearing her perspective on your divorce and your love life issues.

    24 Replies

    Charles November 02, 2014Reply

    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.

    Pat April 19, 2016Reply

    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.

      Alice September 28, 2016Reply

      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.

        Jackie Pilossoph September 28, 2016Reply

        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.

      Nancy Bautista November 07, 2016Reply

      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.

        Jackie Pilossoph November 24, 2016Reply

        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.

    Dave August 12, 2016Reply

    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.

    Robin November 07, 2016Reply

    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.

      Jackie Pilossoph November 24, 2016Reply

      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.

    Nancy Bautista November 07, 2016Reply

    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???

      Jackie Pilossoph November 07, 2016Reply

      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 April 28, 2017Reply

    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.

    Sandra July 13, 2017Reply

    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.

      Jackie Pilossoph July 15, 2017Reply

      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.

        Jack October 16, 2017Reply

        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.

          Jackie Pilossoph October 25, 2017Reply

          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.

    John M Maher July 26, 2018Reply

    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

    Donica Nash September 27, 2018Reply

    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.

    millie October 17, 2018Reply

    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.

    Jackie November 12, 2018Reply

    @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.

    Keelanj December 18, 2018Reply

    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.

    Heather March 04, 2019Reply

    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...

    Sue h April 02, 2019Reply

    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

    Janet April 09, 2019Reply

    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.

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