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JinGA Offline OP
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OK many of you are going to find this completely strange...

It's XH's year to have the kids Christmas morning if he so chooses. Since before Thanksgiving I've been prompting him to make his plans and let me know so I can plan accordingly. I gave him first choice of what to do, since it is "his turn".

In the time when we were separated and newly divorced, other than last year, he'd come over Christmas morning and spend the day, including Christmas dinner.

Last year we were both involved with new people - I had Christmas Morning and he took the kids for Christmas dinner. His GF was out of town but he had her kids and our kids and made dinner for them, and my BF and I went to my friend's for Christmas dinner.

Well this year is different... and the same...

He's alone - GF physically left him in April but they continued long-distance until around Thanksgiving. During the summer I met somebody new (my last relationship ended early in January) and we've been dating for about 4 months.

XH and my BF get along well - XH and I own a business together and still work together - I'm there full time, he comes in part time and my BF sometimes lends a hand - in fact BF came in to help XH when I was away recently.

So last night I asked XH what his plans were... he told me I could keep the kids for Christmas morning and he'd do dinner with them. I was going to cook a turkey etc., assuming the kids would be with him Christmas morning... but he wants to sleep in on Christmas Day.

I suggested he come over to the house for Christmas dinner and he enthusiastically agreed. I also checked with B (my BF) to make sure this was OK with him - and he was just fine with it.

So... Christmas Eve BF and I will have the day with my kids to visit with BF's family and stuff, then Christmas morning we'll do our thing and XH can come over at his leisure and we'll fix dinner "together" so he can spend time with the kids, and more importantly he won't be alone for Christmas.

I wouldn't wish being alone on Christmas on anybody...

This way, the kids get to stay at home and have all their new "stuff", they get to spend time with their father, and as DD put it - she won't have to change out of her pajamas all day! LOL

Besides... XH makes awesome gravy!!! He joked about not lifting a finger in the kitchen since I said *I* was going to cook a turkey... but when I reminded him that he makes the best gravy he laughed and *reluctantly* agreed to help out in the kitchen. When we were married he did the majority of the cooking because he's a great cook and he enjoys cooking - I am a functional cook... I can cook well but it's not my favourite thing to do...

I'm sure many of you will think this arrangement is rather bizarre... but then again many people think of my situation working with him is also bizarre.

When I see so many divorced couples so full of contempt and bitterness toward their ex, it makes me sad... I know there are reasons for that - but IMO life is too short to hold on to so much anger. I have plenty I could be upset and angry about - but I've forgiven and let it go. I know that the M is over - for good - but I think XH and I have resolved that we can be friends, and in fact I think we get along better now than we did in the last 7 years of the marriage or so.

Comments?

JinGA


F/40, DD15 DS13 M 1989 DDay his EA May 1998. S Aug 2004. D Dec 05. I filed. 4/07 Post-D Plan A with 180, with hopes of R. 6/23/07 XH said no to R. 8/24/07 Went on a date with someone new, "B". 1/22/08 Still seeing B, life is good! Learning and growing each day. Ask me about Geocaching!
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JinGA,

Quote:

I'm sure many of you will think this arrangement is rather bizarre...




Not me, for sure. My XH frequently joins us for holiday meals. One year when FWH and I were on a cruise over Christmas, my current MIL invited my XH to join them for Christmas.

We've been doing it for so long now, it would feel weird not to.

Who


I am the BW,
He is the FWH
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I'm glad to come across a thread like this because I find myself in a similar situation. Though XH and I were only married 6 years (and separated for 1.5 of those years) we have a very amicable relationship. Our relationship continues because we have a 3 year old together. Otherwise I'd have nothing more to do with him. I wouldn't call him 'friend' yet as I haven't seen a true remorse - but I'm definately seeing evidence that he's coming further out of the fog and seeing the consequences of his choices to not work on our marriage and move in with the OW (having said that, his A ended approx 5 months ago - only weeks after our divorce!).

People don't understand my attitude towards him. Though I'm no longer 'in-love' with him, how do you stop loving someone you chose to spend your entire life with? I care very much for him and people can't understand how I've forgiven and moved on so easily (it was far from easy, but maybe I just made it appear that way).

ok, I'm rambling - let me get to the point.

From day one I made the decision that I would not let my heart become hard. Decisions were made out of my control (the A) which would affect the rest of my life, but I could either become bitter or choose to let the anger, bitterness, desire for revenge and hurt go. Why should I let him have that kind of control over me?

So that's what I chose.

Now, because I have a soft heart towards him (don't get me wrong, I have my moments - the last thing I'm trying to do is paint myself as some saint) it means that his presence in my life doesn't make me want to vomit. My heart is being HEALED.

That's why I've made choices over the last 5 months that many would disagree with. Ive spent a day ice-skating and bbq'ing with him and our daughter, I attended his work's children's christmas party this week and the 3 of us are flying back to England together for his brother's wedding next year.

I've been told by family members that I'm weak - but I prefer (of course!) to see it as gentleness.

He did what he did. He chose what he chose. My decision to look at it this way was for my little girl. 20 years from now what would I want for her? Parents who couldn't stand a bar of each other or parents who were capable of attending school functions, ballet concerts and weddings together.

I'm young enough to find love again and have children with someone else - something I really want - but when I find the right man I have already decided my relationship with him will come before a friendship with the X. I think it is amazing your BF is so understanding but as your relationship moves forward - what if it becomes a problem for him? How will you handle it?

My other thought (which applies to myself) is is there any hidden agenda in having such a friendship with the X. I have to be very careful about this because obviously it would feel wonderful to have him begging me to come back. I wouldn't take him back - but it sure would make me feel better! Is there - deep down - any of that in it for you too?

I look forward to learning more about all this on your thread while I try to navigate my way too.

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JinGA Offline OP
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ANewName - I don't see us as being weak - rather I see us as being *very* strong.

It's easy to be angry and bitter and difficult - it is a defense against any lingering pain or regret.

Forgiveness and moving forward with a healthy friendship is NOT weak. It takes great strength. My XH has owned his part of the demise of our M and so have I. I chose to separate and file for D - after I invited him to choose our M over things that were going on with him. Even just before the D and afterward I invited him to recommit but he declined.

I'm over that now - I no longer lament for what could have been because the reality is, what I wanted to have been, and what was realistic are two different things.

My parents divorced and to this day, 30 years later, they loathe each other. My father was a WH (more than once - he's married 3 times now). He's estranged from his daughters now and we have little or nothing to do with him - that was *his* choice and after a while my sis and I quit trying to lure him back. His loss. But I digress...

Even as an adult I had to deal with parents hostile to one another. It stinks. It messes with a kid's self-worth - if one parent slams the other all the time, what does that make a kid think of him/herself?

Nope - no matter what I wasn't going to go there and do to my kids what my parents did to my sister and me. I have an awesome Mom but if there was one thing I could change it would be that they could at least put on a happy face for our sake.

I'm not a vindictive or vengeful person. I've seen too much of that sort of thing in my extended family - siblings (aunts and uncles) who don't speak to each other for decades but live a mile apart... life is way too short for that.

Nope - my kids are secure in knowing that both parents love them, and that their parents still love each other - just not in the same way that we did when we were married. You can't just erase history- and like you said, you can't just eliminate feelings for a person you intended to spend your whole life with.

In fact, I'd say that XH and I get along better now than we have in years, because at the end of the day we each go home to our respective domiciles - I don't have to get mad at his carelessness and untidiness, and he doesn't have my irritating habits to b&tch about.

As for my BF - he is an awesome man. I don't see the occasional holiday dinner with XH included as a problem. XH and I don't socialize together - this is just for Christmas. Besides, sooner or later he'll meet somebody else and move on, and then he likely won't need or want to be under my roof for Christmas or any other occasion. But for now, nobody should be alone, and he is welcome here. I'll worry about next year... next year

JinGA


F/40, DD15 DS13 M 1989 DDay his EA May 1998. S Aug 2004. D Dec 05. I filed. 4/07 Post-D Plan A with 180, with hopes of R. 6/23/07 XH said no to R. 8/24/07 Went on a date with someone new, "B". 1/22/08 Still seeing B, life is good! Learning and growing each day. Ask me about Geocaching!
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Glad your BF has no problem with it. Its good for the kids to enjoy a nice family time together.

My ex keeps coming around and driving me crazy wanting to get back. And the guy I'M with DOES have a problem with it. I asked ex to at least leave me alone for the holidays, and he couldn't keep to that promise either. In fact today he left a message on my work answering machine that was played before I got to work and embarrassed the H out of me.

Good luck.

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Hey JinGA

I've never posted to you before (still relatively new to MB as my D-day was only in April), but I've always loved your story and admired you--especially when you found your latest BF!!

My only comment--I don't think it's strange when exs can get along. For my personal sitch, I'm in Plan B now and don't intend to reconcile (too much damage to the M from his A.) And I don't intend to have contact with him once the D is final because I don't have a reason to. Even though we had a long term relationship and an 8 year marriage, we have no children and no other ties financially. Now if we had kids, I still think I would have D'd him after finding out about the A, but I would definitely tried to have an amicable relationship for the kids' sake.

But I'm not bitter or angry--I hope he can work himself through this mess he's made and get healthly and happy again one day. My prayer is that he finds someone who can be good for him and live well. But I'm moving towards indifference about him--and so I am not interested in doing even the work needed to have him as a friend again once he de-fogs--if ever.

I think we were in each other's lives for a reason or a season, but for me that reason or season is done. So moving on without him forever--and feeling good about my future once my personal recovery is further along.

Anyway...2 cents from a newbie! I hope your family has a great Christmas together.

Smartiepants

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JinGA Offline OP
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Hi smartiepants2!

If not for the business and kids that tie us together, I'd probably have not much if anything to do with him either. Can't say I'd feel "indifferent" but maybe so - out of sight, out of mind, so to speak.

I guess my comments about people being angry and bitter stem from my own experience as a kid with parents who were that way, and I've seen plenty of others that way.

I've seen a few amicable exes but they seem to be the exception, not the rule.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

JinGA


F/40, DD15 DS13 M 1989 DDay his EA May 1998. S Aug 2004. D Dec 05. I filed. 4/07 Post-D Plan A with 180, with hopes of R. 6/23/07 XH said no to R. 8/24/07 Went on a date with someone new, "B". 1/22/08 Still seeing B, life is good! Learning and growing each day. Ask me about Geocaching!
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The only reason I get along (if you can call it that) and respond to my ExW is because of our children. I am civil with my ExW because of them.....otherwise I would never want to lay sight on my ExW EVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER!!!! again.....that is how much I dislike her as a person.

Im glad you are able to carry on a friendship with your ExH......I could never do that with mine....Ever.

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I have to chime in here about all this feel good stuff. I experienced almost the same type of relationship that you described except from a kids prospective.
My parents were all buddy, buddy....celebrating holidays with us like one big happy family.....EXCEPT WE WEREN'T.
Talk about twisting my head up all through life (thank you very little).
My parents established no healthy boundries and tried to act as if what they put us through was normal.
They tell me now that they thought they were helping us.
(I'm thinking not so much)

What I needed were clear healthy boundries, someone to stop telling me "half truths"(better name is LIES) and some one to draw a line in the sand and show me what natural consequences looked like for poor decisions....I needed MORAL truths and instead what I got were mixed signals from mixed up parents that still wrecks havok in my life today.

SORRY..NOT SO FEEL GOOD

Not blaming my parents for my poor decisions as an adult..but I am blaming them for being another sh!tty example in this if it feels good its better world..

My Why's were lies!!!!!!





Recovery began 10/07;

Meeting my wife's EN's is my "thank you" that refuses to be silenced.
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JinGA Offline OP
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Ouch. I'm sorry you had a rough go of it...

Given a choice, I would rather have had my parents be able to at least show up in the same place at the same time at a school function or the birth of my kids, without having to act as a travel agent for them so they wouldn't run into one another.

When my kids were born my father had dropped back into the picture (I actually had nightmares about that during my first pregnancy and he dropped back into the picture when I was 7 months pregnant!)...

When both were born I had to deal with my mother saying stuff like, "Well I won't come and visit you if there's a chance that Michael will be there" (visit in the hospital).

I managed to "schedule" them at different times when my daughter was born - I was only in the hospital 2 days and my paternal grandparents were here from England so I had to carefully make sure that nobody ran into anybody else.

When my son was born I had a section and was in hospital for 5 days and was on morphine for a few (complicated surgery)... when Mom started in on the "scheduling" crap again I had the drug-induced nerve to tell her that I wasn't a travel agent and if she was "afraid" to pass my father in the hallway, then don't bother coming. (OUCH!)... she came, he came and thankfully nobody ran into anybody else.

As for boundaries - we have them. As I said, XH and I don't hang out together although we do still work together in our jointly-owned business. I'm full time, he's very part time. I don't see his coming over to have Christmas dinner with us as being a "big happy family" - that's not what we're doing, at least I don't see it that way, I don't think my kids do - they aren't confused about where he and I stand with each other.

There's no "lying" going on. We're friends. There's no rule that says ex-spouses have to hate one another or make things difficult for one another or go out of our way to inconvenience the other. I'm not really going out of my way to invite him for dinner - I was going to make the dinner anyway - now he doesn't have to and he can spend time with his kids - and while he's over, I expect he'll be doing things with the kids - watching a movie or TV or playing games with them (they are teenagers) or whatever. I will likely ask him to give me a hand in the kitchen - just as any guest would likely offer to help.

Nothing deceitful or improper about it. This way we both get to spend Christmas with OUR kids and nobody's deprived.

IMO it's best for all concerned.

JinGA


F/40, DD15 DS13 M 1989 DDay his EA May 1998. S Aug 2004. D Dec 05. I filed. 4/07 Post-D Plan A with 180, with hopes of R. 6/23/07 XH said no to R. 8/24/07 Went on a date with someone new, "B". 1/22/08 Still seeing B, life is good! Learning and growing each day. Ask me about Geocaching!
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I was just at Thanksgiving at my SIL's...both she and her 2nd husband had their Ex's there as well...It went pretty well (this is a few years after the divorces, mind you).

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My parents were divorced when I was 4 and my mother remained single but had a long term boyfriend and eventually remarried when I was 14. My father lived in another state and sometimes for Christmas would come to town and stay with us for a week. My mother was gracious enough to allow him to stay with us so that he could spend time with us, because he lived 600 miles away and we only saw him twice a year. Even after I became an adult, my mother and my step-dad were always friendly toward my father and opened their home to him when I got married, when I had my children, various special occasions. My mother went to his parents funerals (30 years after they divorced). My mother went to my baby brother's funeral (from my dad and step mother) even though I was unable to attend because I was bedridden with a difficult pregnancy. My mother has always been supportive and made it a point to never say anything bad about my father (though she had lots of things she could have complained about - he never paid child support, etc.).

My XH and my husband have always gotten along wonderfully. They ride bikes together on occasion (not so much anymore just because everybody's so busy), they've gone fishing together with my oldest son. We've invited him to many family functions and have always done joint birthday parties and graduation parties for my son with both sides of the family involved. Never had a problem.

I think it's wonderful when ex-spouses can put aside differences (funny how the differences go away when you don't have to live with them anymore!) and have a decent working relationship for the sake of the kids. It makes a huge difference to the children and they will forever be thankful for it.


Me - BW/FWW
Him - FWH/BH
Still figuring it all out - but we're figuring it out TOGETHER <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
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Quote:

I have to chime in here about all this feel good stuff. I experienced almost the same type of relationship that you described except from a kids prospective.
My parents were all buddy, buddy....celebrating holidays with us like one big happy family.....EXCEPT WE WEREN'T.
Talk about twisting my head up all through life (thank you very little).
My parents established no healthy boundries and tried to act as if what they put us through was normal.
They tell me now that they thought they were helping us.
(I'm thinking not so much)

What I needed were clear healthy boundries, someone to stop telling me "half truths"(better name is LIES) and some one to draw a line in the sand and show me what natural consequences looked like for poor decisions....I needed MORAL truths and instead what I got were mixed signals from mixed up parents that still wrecks havok in my life today.

SORRY..NOT SO FEEL GOOD

Not blaming my parents for my poor decisions as an adult..but I am blaming them for being another sh!tty example in this if it feels good its better world..

My Why's were lies!!!!!!





I agree with TST on this. It just feel wrong! It cannot be good for the kids or even the selfesteem of the three of you. Spending holiday with your XH and Boyfriend and your Kids is just too disfunctional.

TST, I hope things are getting better and better in time with you and SMB. Tell her even her least favorite poster on MB is thinking of the two of you.

BA

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I think it's hard to put every situation under one umbrella. It will feel wrong for some but it will feel right for others.

I'm sorry it didn't work for you tst. I'm absolutely with you on people living the consequences of their decisions and I agree healthy boundaries need to be in place.

An example of the healthy boundaries I'm keeping, while keeping a 'friendship' with the X for our daughter's sake is that while I'm flying back to England with him for his brothers wedding next year, I'm not staying with him. While at the wedding I'll sit with him (with our daughter in-between) but I'm staying in different accommodation - despite an invitation to stay where he'll be.

For me there's nothing dysfunctional in what JinGA's doing if the healthy boundaries are there (which I believe they are).

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Quote:



TST, I hope things are getting better and better in time with you and SMB. Tell her even her least favorite poster on MB is thinking of the two of you.

BA




BA, do you have any idea how creepy this sounds? Do you understand how violated and uncomfortable your actions on this board are making people feel? You told Orchid that we should watch your actions. I'm watching, and all I see is your disrespect for this community.

You've been asked repeatedly, yet still you refuse to answer - what is your purpose here? What is your experience with MB?

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Hey aNewName

I think traveling to the wedding and keeping those connections at the wedding for your son is exactly what you need to do.
THAT is supporting your son and as a parent THAT is what we are called to do.

HOWEVER,
I don't agree with dad and boyfriend going fishing with son and how nice that all looks - great?? I don't think so!!
I'm only pointing out it isn't about boundries for you and XH or XW. It's about protecting the boundries and the love banks of the kids and teaching them whats not acceptable after a DIVORCE. It's not acceptable to allow someone else to steal my time with my dad or my mom...
It's not acceptable to bring my dad's girlfriend or my mom's boyfriend around me for a long time - thats selfish behavior from parents....Who only want what they want!!!
I hear it now ........ "my kids are doing fine with all this" GIVE ME A BREAK!

The questions you might start asking is "How might this affect them as adults in their own marriages"? or
"What can I do to protect my childs love for me and for my X"? or
"What would be the boundries I need to have in place to protect my child from myelf or my X and let help them learn what divorce would look like if they ever chose the same path in their future"(they need to know it's ugly) or
"would it be nice for my child to have all of me when we are together on holidays(even if it is sad for THE ADULT parent)and allow them to meet my needs and allow myself to meet their needs"

Once divorced it's never perfect again for a kid ...... it's just adults need to be adults and save the boyfriend, girlfriend relationships for when you don't have the kids in your care .......I don't care how nice everybody is with each other, it doesn't protect the kids and it sure doesn't help them adjust (another lie adults tell each other to make themselves feel better).

things often look rosey through the eyes of our lies





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The situation can bring two possible side effect to the child's mind:

1) He is going to think that divorce is not that bad. So, in the future, when there is a problem with me and my wife/husband, I'll just divorce and hook up with someone else.

2) They will lose respect for you. This usually occur with children older than certain age. You might not know it, you might know feel it, but they are experiencing it. Children don't always reveal everything that's inside, but whatever they see, it still stay with them for a long time.

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JinGA Offline OP
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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.

JinGA


F/40, DD15 DS13 M 1989 DDay his EA May 1998. S Aug 2004. D Dec 05. I filed. 4/07 Post-D Plan A with 180, with hopes of R. 6/23/07 XH said no to R. 8/24/07 Went on a date with someone new, "B". 1/22/08 Still seeing B, life is good! Learning and growing each day. Ask me about Geocaching!
Joined: Dec 2007
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JinGA,

Sorry for T/J, that poster is starting to stalk people on other threads.

Am I reading the same thread as you? Most every response you got was positive, with just one person giving you the persective of what when on in his childhood. You're right, you do sound defensive. Are you truly comfortable with the situation? If you are, were you posting here looking for input (which it doesn't seem you want - but I could be totally misreading)? Or were you just sharing the situation with us?

So many threads here are based on advice giving and perspective sharing, so if you were just informing us of your holiday plans it may have been misread as looking for advice.

I think it's admirable what you're doing for the kids, as long as the kids are ok with it.

Have a merry christmas!

Joined: Apr 2007
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JinGA Offline OP
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I guess I was reacting to the infighting per se. I *am* comfortable with the situation, and posted it to share, as well as to illicit thoughts and opinions, and perhaps to hear other similar situations, or even different situations.

And you're right - most have responded in kind. I guess I just take exception to people bickering amongst themselves on "my turf" LOL! If people want to flame each other, IMO they should start their own thread to do it in or better yet, take it to email

I'm actually glad to hear other positive stories of people who have got past the nonsense and *can* have civil interactions with their exes, particularly when children are involved.

Another reason why I post - in my other thread I "talk to myself" quite a bit - it's good for me to journal things, and later when I go back and read them, I can better understand myself and things that were going on with me at the time. Call it a part of my personal growth and self-healing. When I do get helpful input, that helps the growth process too.

JinGA


F/40, DD15 DS13 M 1989 DDay his EA May 1998. S Aug 2004. D Dec 05. I filed. 4/07 Post-D Plan A with 180, with hopes of R. 6/23/07 XH said no to R. 8/24/07 Went on a date with someone new, "B". 1/22/08 Still seeing B, life is good! Learning and growing each day. Ask me about Geocaching!
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