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Do I have to deal with my ex-wife's new lover/boyfriend?
Sex & Intimacy / 10:33 PM - Saturday February 14, 2009

Do I have to deal with my ex-wife's new lover/boyfriend?

Hi.
I've been divorced for almost a year and a half now. We were married for about 6 years - and have an 8 year old son. We have joint custody.

The reasons for the divorce centered on irreconcilable differences. It was my ex-wife that wanted the split. When she told me that she wanted her "freedom" and that she didn't have the same feelings for me as before - I pretty much saw the writing on the wall.
She was unfaithful during the marriage. I could not deal with her infidelity and her wanting to live like she was 18 again. Other reasons for the breakup was that we were often having difficulties making ends meet and a general break-down in communication.
I'm not trying to imply that I was some kind of saint or anything, but I never cheated on her, never was physically, verbally or emotionally abusive to her, did more than my fair share of the housework and helping to raise our son -as well as providing for my family as best I could. I tried to show her as much love as possible but I guess it was not enough in her eyes. Could I have done a better job? Yes, but I did try to be a good husband to her.

Anyway, she is now involved with some new guy - the 5th one since we had been together .
What I want to know is do I have to have any dealings with this guy or any of her lovers/boyfriends when I go pick up or drop off our son? I prefer not dealing in any capacity with anyone she is seeing. She hooks up with these men and carries on a relationship for a few weeks/months..and then moves on to a new guy when she or they get tired of one another. Or so it seems.
My main concern is my son and what effect this is having on him. I can't tell her how to live her life obviously. But I would just feel really uncomfortable having to deal with any other guy she is involved with.
Sorry for the long post - just want to get a lil input on my situation from others who are or have been in the same situation.
Thanks

- Asked by Male, 46-55

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Alright buddy, I have not been married thus I have not been through a divorce so I am shooting from the hip so take my advice with some salt. The main focus is the kid. If you want to make sure that the people he is with is responsible and wont bring harm to him then your gonna have to get to know the guy or guys. Not so much as doing a background check and such just a quick conversation to see how they are towards you and the way they think. Granted you really cant gauge a person personality in a short chat but you definitely can get a feel for them just by their presence and appearance. Hell you never know, you just might actually be able to gain an ally in this mess by getting to know a guy and seeing that he cares for the kid. Whats the worst that could happen if you do get involved with one of these guys? Nothing! The child is the only focus and his/her safety is what needs to be checked out not whether or not to have to deal with these guys....just do the best you can at being nice and courteous and always give a good strong hand shake as well as meet their eyes while you talk to them.

- Response by nomayo, A Life of the Party, Male, 29-35, Fitness

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Well, speaking as a parent of a young child myself I would not want to have dealings with the flavor of the week. But as a parent I think it is your responsibility to talk to your child and deal with his feelings etc. He may have something to say. Not to pry it out of him mind you but let him know you are ALWAYS going to be around, be his dad and take care of him. I would want to make my presence known to the other person just so he knows who he is dealing with and that you value your son and will allow nothing or nobody to come between that. You don't have to say anything to him to convey that. Trust me. But you are free to share what you feel is appropriate. Getting in good with the men going through the revolving door can work for your good as well. It shows that you are involved in your son's life and are aware of what it happening around him. Should you ever feel the need to go after full physical custody yourself knowing these men and the dates they were there will only help you. Document everything. Your son may be think that if his mom can drop all these other men out of boredom she may eventually tire of him as well. It's up to you as a dad to let him know that you will be there no matter who or what his mother is doing.

- Response by A Married Girl, Female, 36-45, Home Maker

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Why do you feel the need to have any dealings with her boyfriends? An ocassional hi and bye may be necessary, but honestly, nothing more than that. However, if she decides to take things up to the next level, say, she wants to marry him, then that's a different story. If she's just having short term relationships here and there, then I don't really see a point in you trying to go out of your way to make things pleasant. Although, it's probably nice to at least acknowledge that person, but you're not obligated to do anything more. However, if she does decide to marry someone, it'd be nice to at least get along. I'm not saying you have to build a friendship with that person, but for the sake of your child, it'd be nice to at least get a long. And as for your son, unless she's been with one guy after her divorce, and it's a long term relationship, I really don't think that it's a good idea to expose your son to this situation. It's not a nice feeling to see either one of your parents going in and out of relationships. Unless your ex is sure she wants to build a serious relationship with someone, it's best not to expose the child to what's going on. Just my 2 cents. You may or may not agree with me, but that's what I have to say. Good luck

- Response by ladydimples, A Thinker, Female, 29-35, Los Angeles, Who Cares?

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Unfortunately no. When she has your son, she can leave him with anyone she sees fit. She can introduce this person to your son, etc. However, while you can't tell her how to live her life, you can appeal to her sense of motherhood. She should not be introducing your son to any of these men until it is clear that this person is semi-permanent. Otherwise, she is seriously doing a number on your child. There are numerous books, magazine articles, etc. you could copy and highlight so she gets the point if she won't take your word for it.

- Response by keldog4511, A Creative, Female, 46-55, Philadelphia, Managerial

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Sounds like her inability to have a relationship may put you in the Driver's seat for a custody battle. Talk to your Lawyer dude, I think you could make a great case, oh, make sure your Lawyer is female too. Good luck!

- Response by galoop, A Jock, Male, 36-45, Toronto, Executive

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Wow, you seem like a keeper, she was not smart. Are you still single??? LOL

Really it depends are where you live, what you can and should not have to deal with. Really, I dont think you have to deal with anyone unless they are listed in the divorce as such. You can make a big deal about it and contact the courts that you will drop the child off to her, and if she isnt able to watch him, that you want him back. Depends on the judge, what will happen. I know someone who did that, and won. I have heard of others where the judge rules it isnt any of your business....

I am very lucky to have my daughter soley, I cant imagine what you are going through. Good luck!!!

- Response by bikermommy, A Thinker, Female, 36-45

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Just don't find yourself in situations where you are around these guys much. Obviously you won't be socializing with them. If in some way your son is being affected adversly by these relationships, ie. grades are suffering or he is having emotional problems then you have a duty to bring this up to the court whether or not they listen. But above all, never ever talk disparaging about your ex to your son. Good luck. I'm about to lose my child support this July after 13 years. Take care.

- Response by imgr8phil, A Life of the Party, Male, 46-55, Other Profession

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For one,Try to get custody of your son.If she's living like that in front of him,It will have a bad effect on him.

Second,unless the guy is married to her and supporting the household,,he has no say what so ever about your son or your conversations with the ex.
I for one would make sure,he understood that.\,whatever it took!!!

- Response by randolph, A Mr. Married Guy, Male, 56-65, Artist / Musician / Writer

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I believe you can ask your ex to meet you at a mutual place where you can pick up your son and maybe have lunch there so it isn't like an exchange.

- Response by sicilian53, A Mr. Nice Guy, Male, 56-65, Retired

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