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Can you live with your Ex?
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Can you live with your Ex?

I think I've finally been forced to realise that there really isn't any chance of my relationship with my wife being revived.  She told me months ago that she didn't want a relationship with me any more, and that she considered us separated, I think now I have to stop fighting to save our marriage and accept the end.

The problem here is that it isn't that easy.  We have 3 kids (9, 6, and 3), and we are both adamant that we will not live apart from our kids.  Which pretty much leaves us stuck living under the same roof.  Which is not a great situation for various reasons, including:

1.  I still love her and want to be in a relationship with her, and I don't know if I can let that go and not be in constant emtional pain spending much of my time in the company of someone who doesn't feel the same way about me.

2.  If she starts seeing someone else, even if she keeps it away from the home, it'll hurt me much more if I'm still around.

3.  When, and more crucially if, I ever get to a stage where I'm ready to see someone else, still living with my ex is going to be a pretty major barrier to being able to establish any new serious relationship.  Although right now I can't really conceive of ever wanting to see someone else, but I suppose the time may come.


So, has anyone out there ever tried living with their ex?  Or do you know someone who has?  Did it work out?  How did it work?
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10 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
This is just my opinion, but i do not think so,What would the children think. if mom brought a date home or dad got lonely, one must think about the children, and this is a bad situation, just move if there is no way to save the marriage, and get on with you life.
Just think of all of the things that could happen, no it would not work  luck  jo
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Avatar_f_tn
i probably not the best person that give you opinion,coz i am facing seperation too with my husband,even i still love him ,it will hard for you if you life under one roof,i get hurts when my x came home with his date,and i dont have any dating friend,it really depends whether u still have feeling or not to your wive,it you ar ready to let go,then it could be easier for you,,...but living under one roof has its benefits as well,if you both dating the different person ,and realised how it ruins your kids life,or you think that ur date isnt good,it can bring you two back together,off course you two have to make efforts or compromise not to fight again,.??
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Avatar_f_tn
To let you know. I tried it, also because of the kids, but the answer is NO. Its an absolutly impossible situation. Give it time and you will see that you will eventually want to be away from each other. Besides, its sadder for kids to grow up in a home where they know their parents dont love each other. Im sorry for your pain but you really will be okay.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for all your opinions.  I am realistic that there is no way we could do this for the rest of our kids childhoods, there's 15 years to go of that.  Still, I'd like to try and do it for a while, maybe a few years, see how it goes.  The way my wife and I are getting on at the moment, and agreeing how our living arrangements can work, it does seem feasible.  I just hope that, when it does come to an end, it isn't difficult or acrimonious.

I have told my wife that, if she feels like it isn't working out or she is not comfortable or happy me being there, I will move out if she asks.  Right now I think part of her would like me to move out right away, from a selfish point of view to help her move on, but another part really appreciates being able to share the work of looking after the kids and the house.  Plus of course there is the issue that I'm still the only income earner in the family, and while I'd never allow my family to go short, financially it will be a LOT harder if my income has to support two separate households.  Maybe next year, when our youngest is a bit older and my wife is considering returning to work, the situation will be changed.
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Avatar_n_tn
No, it would not work.  You have to move out. Don't waste anymore of your time or energy on someone who doesn't want to be with you.
Good luck
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Avatar_m_tn
It's not about wasting time and energy on my wife (although you are right about that, and it's something I've got to work on).  It's about being a proper, full-time, on-site father to my three children.  That is important to me.
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237152_tn?1206654636
Wow my friend, your situation mirrors mine in so many ways; 3 kids, marriage not working, sticking it out for them... My wife has never said that she wants a separation, but her mood and attitude lead me to believe otherwise.  If it wasn't for the kids I would have left myself already, but I stick around not only for their benefit, but for hope that maybe someday things will get better...We have two boys together, 9 and 3, but her daughter is 11 and I have raised her as my own, her father has very little to do with her.  She would suffer the most and that hurts me to the core.  I see my wife and I drifting apart and it ***** to see her everyday and feel like I'm losing her.  It would be so much easier to get over a failed relationship if we didn't see each other again, like past relationships.  But now it is different.  So much more to lose, so many more emotions involved.  The common stereo-type is that men don't have deep feelings, and maybe that's true in some cases, but I feel them damn deep and hurt like hell, cry a lot... and to see me on the street you would never guess it.  People see me as a "tough guy."  Couldn't be further from the truth.  I guess I just had to get my own feelings out and let you know that you are not alone and thank you for showing me that I'm not either...
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Avatar_f_tn
I hate to see your kids lose out on having you in their lives.  If you can stand it, and your wife is willing, you should definitely stay together for the time being.  You may want to consider a retreat-type holiday together (sort of like a counseling and activity holiday) once a year or so to help you deal with the issues that arise in a marriage-for-the-sake-of-the-kids.  

I agree that it will make dating hard for you; in that many people refuse to date a married person on principle, no matter how nice the person is. Alas, this is part of the pricetag for staying in your kids lives in this way.  In the end, it will be worth the sacrifice you are making.

It may be helpful if you decide to stay together to do one weekend a month apart.  You could take turns whether it's you at home with the kids or her.  These weekends will let you be yourselves without having to keep up a good front.  

Lastly, she should get some sort of a job right now.  It's not appropriate to wait until the kids are older.  It can be mother's hours, but she needs to do this now for her own self-esteem and her own sanity.  If she's the one pushing you away, she needs to take responsibility for that push.  Everybody's telling me that about my ex, so I figure it's probably a true thing for other people in the same situation.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you both VERY much for your kind words and your support.  It's great to know, lostsoul2, that I'm not the only one living in this situation.  I know what you mean about the pain and the crying - for the last 3 months or so it's rare that a week has gone by without me crying myself to sleep at least once.  I never realised how much my love was, how strong my feelings were, until this happened.  I'm just hoping, with time, that I will learn to accept the situation better and live with it.

upperdownerinsideout - you are right, there are sacrifices to be made with continuing to live together, so we can both be full parents.  They are sacrifices I am happy to make.  We already both take weekends out on our own, that is a good idea - my wife has several friends around the country that she goes and visits, I occasionally go away for a concert or to take part in a sports event for instance.  The downside of that is that my wife has addressed the not-dating issue by having a guy (well, she did have a couple, but I think she's dropped one) who she spends the night with when she's away for the weekend - it's a purely casual, no emotional connection, just sex thing, apparently.  But it hurts me like hell to know she is doing this.  I don't know if I could ever do the same, I don't have such a casual attitude to sex as she does.  That's part of why it hurts so much, I don't truly comprehend that attitude, so I can't really understand how sex with someone else can mean so little to her, however much she tells me it does.

Anyway, enough of this.  Again, thank you both for your support and kindness.  It really helps me.  Good luck to you both with the problems you are both facing, too!
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Avatar_f_tn
My Aunt and Uncle tried to do that for a long time, and it was terrible for them. They just started to hate eachother, and avoid eachother at all costs. It wasn't healthy for anyone, not them or my cousins.
So, my Uncle decided to move out on his own. He didn't see anyone else, and to this day has not (about 6 years later). But he now lives in a trailor just behind my Aunt's house. I know, it sounds crazy, but it works VERY well for them. He actually comes over most days for dinner now, and they can finally TALK to eachother again.
They never legally seperated or divorced...so on paper, they are still married, they just don't live together anymore. Would an arangement like this one work for you and your wife? You won't have to live together, and make things VERY awkward for your whole family, but you will still be right there for your kids...
I know these kinds of things are difficult, and need to be taken on a case by case basis, but I have seen it work VERY successfully for my family.
Hope you find something that works for you!
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