Well firstly, if people here have personal differences with one another, please keep them out of my thread - I didn't start this thread to give fodder to whatever axes you all have to grind with one another.
I respect the opinions of everyone - but I also know for a fact that what works for some, may not work for others.
I have friends whose parents divorced, and new spouses/step parents and exes all get along and show up at social gatherings that are centered around the kids.
And for those who think what I'm doing is "wrong" - I'd like to hear what alternatives you'd suggest that are "better" for the kids?
The kids would already be torn if they had to spend the day with one or the other... spend it with Dad and miss it with Mom - or spend it with Mom and miss it with Dad. How is that "better"? Kids are already in the middle - at least as much as *we* put them there. If *we*, the parents/adults can make it easier for them and make them feel more secure in the fact that they still have two parents even though the marriage between them is over, IMO that's infinitely better than making them choose, or imposing a choice on them.
IMO it's better for the kids to have 2 parents who can get along and be friendly toward one another than having them angry and bitter at one another, cutting the other down or not even caring the other exists. A child is a product of *both* parents, and I remember wondering "what did that make me?" when either or both of my parents were ignorant and bitter and cut each other down.
My daughter's best friend's father left her mother for another MAN. The mother remarried - and when the girl's father visits, he stays with the family. The stepdad has children from previous marriages (2 of them, 2 other marriages) and those children (and grandchild on the way) are also welcome in the home. Would it be *better* for the young lady in question if her mother wouldn't allow her father to stay when he visits? If not for that, her father probably couldn't afford to visit more than once a year, if that.
When my XH was living with his GF and the water main for their building broke, I had them all over (XH, GF and GF's kids) to take showers and do laundry. When my kids had birthdays, I had pizza parties with them all in attendance.
It may be unpalatable for some to consider, but to me it's the Christian thing to do. Forgive, move on, and do the right thing. Some of the "alternatives" offered up here are unacceptable *to me*... it's not within me to be that selfish and hateful as to deny the best possible situation despite the circumstances, to my kids.
Sure - best case would have been to remain married and work out the problems. I did try to do that - but one alone can't do that. The marriage ended. Heck I tried and tried even after the fact to repair things, but at the end of the day, XH made his choice not to try to put it all back together.
Yeah I'm dating somebody. I'm not dead. My kids' needs still come first and foremost and they always will, and the man I'm dating knows and understands this. I see no reason to apologize for this.
Some of you make it sound like all kids will automatically hate any new person that comes into a divorced parent's life. Not so. And if my kids didn't support my dating activities, I'd discontinue them - however, they have told me they are comfortable with things as they are, we do things together, they do things with their father, and on this ONE DAY we're going to invite their father to join us for a celebratory meal.
I hardly think that inviting him over to eat dinner with us will "confuse" them... XH and I don't socialize together unless you count the clients we talk with while at work in our shop - the kids aren't even here for that. After hours he goes his way, I go mine. He's got his life and social circle, and so do I.
At any rate, I sound like I'm "defending" what I'm doing here - and I shouldn't have to. It is what it is. There's no pretense, no "false hopes" and no "mixed signals" being sent between XH, the kids and myself. We all know where we stand with one another, and I'd like to think that finally, after all the tears, pain and grief that transpired before, during and even shortly after the divorce, we've put all that behind us and can show our kids that they are still the most important people in our lives.