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Divorcing Parents Still Share Home

Question:

My wife and I have filed for divorce. We have two boys, ages 8 and 6, and all of us live in the same house together. She has started dating someone whom she has introduced to the boys. While I am away at work, he sometimes stays over (up to three nights a week). I have objected to this, but she has ignored my concerns. We are still married and are living in the same house. I don’t mind her dating. I just don’t want our sons exposed to it. Are my worries justified? Is there something I can read on this subject to help me handle it?

Answer:

It would be a very confusing situation for the children to have their father living in their home while their mother entertains a new boyfriend in the same home. The dating guidelines when you have children say to not involve the new person in your children’s lives until there is a level of commitment by both persons in the relationship that points toward marriage. Otherwise, there is the potential for children to grieve the loss of another father-figure/mother-figure if the relationship breaks up. If this occurs frequently, they can begin to distrust the commitment of a parent in their lives.

Resolving the boundary issue of pursuing a divorce yet living in the same home is also an important issue to resolve, as this too is not only confusing to the kids but to the adults as well.