Rules for Separate but Living Together as Co-Parents
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Considering Divorce or Separation If you're considering divorce or separation, this is the place to talk.

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Old 05-04-2011, 06:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Rules for Separate but Living Together as Co-Parents

My wife and I have mutually decided that we don't want to work on our marriage relationship anymore. We don't have a toxic relationship, but after 10 years of a stressful marriage there isn't really an us anymore outside of our two elementary aged children.

Since we can't afford to live separately right now we're planning on living together with the children. For many years I have slept in a different bedroom for various reasons, and we've never fought in front of the children. From their perspective things haven't changed.

My general plan is we'd co-habituate until we we're in a better position financially to have two separate dwellings. This would be a big milestone and it could take a year, or more to get too. By this time the children would be aware mommy and daddy aren't going to live together anymore, and the cool thing is the girls get two bedrooms! Yipppeee! (Sarcasim)

Along the way, we'd have many smaller markers that would help transition the girls and everyone to the new dynamic.

Before or during this we'd get a legal separation or whatever. We're just starting out, so I have really no idea what makes sense, but I am starting to investigate.

We had our first couples therapy session with a counselor that had a reputation for helping people navigate failed marriages with children without damaging the contents on the journey. But I think we started off on the wrong foot, or I'm too optimistic about being better separated than as a couple.

As I was explaining this, the therapist was adamant we really re-hash the 10 years of our failed marriage because past feelings will come into play now and being only human we need to address these issues. I disagreed since we're both agreeing to a new relationship and are committed to making this work. So the old relationship isn't important in this discussion. Its a new ball game with new rules.

So this got me thinking that maybe this isn't going to work. I dunno. I want it to work. I love my wife as a wonderful mother to my children and I know she loves me for the same reasons. But we're just not that into each other. Not to say we didn't have issues, we did. But now that we've agreed to disagree, there is a zen like quality to our relationship, and this is what I want to capitalize on and make this current relationship grow and be the dominate one. Two people that have children together and together want to be great co-parents.

We made some basic goals, but I'm looking for some been there done that advice to help scope out some rules we can use as our ethos for this new relationship.

Thanks.

Jose
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rules for Separate but Living Together as Co-Parents

I can't fathom being able to live with someone I was in an intimate relationship for ten years and being able to happily live with them. So I don't really have advice in regards to how you can do this or a success story on how it was done well. I've never known or heard of a success story either. Granted, I'm sure there are some.

I did want to mention that it might seem like a great plan now since both of you have accepted the end of the relationship and separation of intimacy but what will happen when you or she decide you want to date? Can you live a sexless, loveless life for the sake of your children? Do you believe you won't be jealous if your wife falls in love with another man and decides to leave the house for the sake of that relationship and vice versa?

Also, do you think modeling a non-romantic relationship for your children is positive?

It very well may be. Certainly two parents working out their differences amicably to raise their children together due to financial circumstances isn't the most horrible thing for children to see. It's far better than the bitter and embattled alternative so many do see. It is also in their best interest to stay in a financially stable environment. So I see the perks.

Still, I would worry that as they get older they will model your relationship and they will not expect romantic, passionate love to be a part of their relationships with others. I'd also worry that your expectations of a zen like environment being sustainable long-term amongst the swiftly changing human emotions we all face is unrealistic.
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rules for Separate but Living Together as Co-Parents

Thanks for not making me a thread-less wonder!

Even prior to this post I had proposed some rules and she has agreed and contributed her own, I was just looking for some other perspectives.

This isn't a LONG term thing. We have some financial issues we need to resolve and then we can move on. Plus, given we're not at each others throats, we're using this time to get the children transitioned in a low impact way as possible. I see a lot of posts about modeling good adult behavior for the children. I'd like to think we are doing this.

One of the milestones or change factors is if either of us wants to start "Dating" we need to be officially separated. She said she stopped her EA, and I believe her. Finish one relationship before you start another one, and she agrees to this. I think knowing we are moving along this path has made it easier for us to not have bad behavior, if this make sense. We are not at all toxic and are getting along really well.

I've said this in other posts, but I'm Manning-up and doing the 180. More for me than anything. And this made things a lot better.
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rules for Separate but Living Together as Co-Parents

Rules? There are no rules per se in regards to living together as my ex-wife and I have done for 10 years before getting divorced.

In our case it was the wife that had done a 180 and we no longer shared the same interest, did anything together and saw each other maybe 1/2 hour each day.

Of course we had no more children to raise, but it can be done as long as you and your wife do not argue in front of the children, but more important do not bring anyone of the opposite sex home regardless what that relationship maybe.

You can begin establishing separate bank accounts but need to share paying the bills equally. In our case, we had our own accounts and we each paid for ourselves the personal things we needed including purchasing our own foods. We'd share here and there but only with permission from the other.

I warn you that it can get very lonely and the atmosphere in the house can get stressful at times, if only due to the fact that you both are no longer into each other and would rather be elsewhere. Worse yet if one of you is really NOT OK with this decision but only doing it because of having no other choice.

If you both use computers, it's essential that you get separate PC's and separate email accounts and passwords, because there will be a temptation to read each others email. There may come a time where you will meet a possible new relationship and start communication with them. If that's not the case there's always the curiosity factor wanting to know what the other is up too. There's that temptation to try and peek into each others affair and this can lead to a major confrontation.

And you must face the fact that even though you're living separate lives under one roof, the jealousy factor still exits even though you say it's over and done with. If one or the other even suspects that there's a new relationship in the horizon may lead to an unwanted confrontation. You may be surprised how quickly that jealousy factor can arise.

Here's a scenario, what if one day you should see your wife in a knockout dress, hair all done up, wearing perfume and going out for the evening? What would your reaction be? Better yet, what would your evening be like if you were staying home mulling over what you wife was up too?

Both must be prepared to face this type of situation but whatever you do on the outside MUST remain outside.

Can it be done, yes it can but it can also be gut wrenching at times. Good Luck to both of you.

Last edited by Kauaiguy; 05-19-2011 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rules for Separate but Living Together as Co-Parents

You are teaching your kids that staying in a crappy marriage is ok. Can't you live with some family members and try to figure it out?
Careful not to let the years go by.
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Old 05-20-2011, 04:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Sanity View Post
You are teaching your kids that staying in a crappy marriage is ok. Can't you live with some family members and try to figure it out?
Careful not to let the years go by.
You're saying its crappy. Sure its not working, but our situation isn't toxic or disfunctional by any means.

I've said, I don't and never intended to stay here any longer than I have to, or she has too. Only one month has transpired since we agreed to seperate. We're both trying to figure this out. If I'm still on TAM in two years yapping about leaving, you can beat me over the head.

My wife and I are looking to start specifically doing thing where there is Mom time and Dad time with the kids. So, there is a transition to the seperation for them. We agreed we'd rather have a trail of great examples for them to see how its not so bad being with only one parrent at a time. I think, and hope, we will show them people can disagree and be friendly while they go through a transition like this.

Granted this all could change. But, I think right we are on the same page and we are, in many regards getting along better now that the cats out of the bag.
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Old 05-20-2011, 04:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rules for Separate but Living Together as Co-Parents

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Originally Posted by Kauaiguy View Post
You can begin establishing separate bank accounts but need to share paying the bills equally. ... I warn you that it can get very lonely and the atmosphere in the house can get stressful at times ... If you both use computers, it's essential that you get separate PC's and separate email accounts and passwords....Here's a scenario, what if one day you should see your wife in a knockout dress.
Yup, I've got a new checking acount and moving all my phone and such to a seperate account, and I'm actually typing on my new computer I got yesterday. I'm getting rid of my account on the laptop we shared.

We agreed there will be NO dating, until one of us is out of the house. I feel she gets this and knows that if she and I can get this done, she'll be free to do whatever. So its in her best interest to move this along.

Does it hurt, am I lonely? You bet! Now that I've had a chance to digest this I realize that I've been lonely for almost our whole marriage. That's what fueling me to move this forward.
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Old 05-20-2011, 04:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rules for Separate but Living Together as Co-Parents

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We agreed there will be NO dating, until one of us is out of the house. I feel she gets this and knows that if she and I can get this done, she'll be free to do whatever. So its in her best interest to move this along.
I'm not talking about dating here. What I'm trying to say is that there will be a lot of speculation going on when one of you gets all dressed up and want to go out for the evening.

What if she just wants to hang out with her friends for the evening but just wants to dress up just to feel good about herself? Maybe they go out to dinner and she comes home with a wee bit too much to drink? Are you going to get on her for this?

You can't really expect her to tell you everything she's doing or where she's going and vise versa. But nevertheless, the mind has a tendency to speculate and to think of the worse scenarios there is.

All I'm saying is be ready for these emotions to come out so that you can deal with them properly.

Last edited by Kauaiguy; 05-20-2011 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rules for Separate but Living Together as Co-Parents

I am going through the same sort of situation and at first I thought I could manage it, then it was extremely hard since I still had/have strong feelings for him (love him/not in-love with him I guess), but now I am just waiting for us to go our seperate ways and rebuild our lives together with our child.
We are still living in the same house with our son, till we can sell our home and get seperate dwellings. We spend time with our child but go to family affairs seperately. At first it can be very tough, going single with your child but you get used to it.

My question would be if you are both living in the same house together with your kids, how do you file your taxes? Married or seperated? Since you are both living at the same address and are you legally seperated by a lawyer papper.
I'm asking because I am in that situation and I have no legal seperation and I don't know how to file the taxes. We share the bills and child expense but not our love.
It is a vewry lonely situation. I'm upstairs on my comp. while my son is downstairs playing video games and on his computer.
I have gotten jealous of any other female messages to my husband/ex (don't know what to call him.. we are still technically married) or him dressing up to go out, but I have to remind my self we are no longer together. I guess I will not message or go out until I know we are legally living apart or divorsed.

best of luck
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rules for Separate but Living Together as Co-Parents

Have you gone to MC? I'm just wondering what the stresses were. Life is stressful and it will get even more after your divorce. Is there anyway to relight your flame? Go to divorcebusting.com and see if there is anyway to save this and bring you and your family happiness.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rules for Separate but Living Together as Co-Parents

I'm waiting on my STBXW to move out. Only 14 days left... but I'm not counting. OF COURSE I'M COUNTING!

I feel a lot better than I did when I didn't know how things were going to turn out, but this is still bad. I'm ready for her to leave.

Its easy at first, but it gets progressively worse. If you decide to give cohabitation a try, I wish you the best.
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Old 03-17-2012, 08:18 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebootingnow View Post
My wife and I have mutually decided that we don't want to work on our marriage relationship anymore. We don't have a toxic relationship, but after 10 years of a stressful marriage there isn't really an us anymore outside of our two elementary aged children.

Since we can't afford to live separately right now we're planning on living together with the children. For many years I have slept in a different bedroom for various reasons, and we've never fought in front of the children. From their perspective things haven't changed.

My general plan is we'd co-habituate until we we're in a better position financially to have two separate dwellings. This would be a big milestone and it could take a year, or more to get too. By this time the children would be aware mommy and daddy aren't going to live together anymore, and the cool thing is the girls get two bedrooms! Yipppeee! (Sarcasim)

Along the way, we'd have many smaller markers that would help transition the girls and everyone to the new dynamic.

Before or during this we'd get a legal separation or whatever. We're just starting out, so I have really no idea what makes sense, but I am starting to investigate.

We had our first couples therapy session with a counselor that had a reputation for helping people navigate failed marriages with children without damaging the contents on the journey. But I think we started off on the wrong foot, or I'm too optimistic about being better separated than as a couple.

As I was explaining this, the therapist was adamant we really re-hash the 10 years of our failed marriage because past feelings will come into play now and being only human we need to address these issues. I disagreed since we're both agreeing to a new relationship and are committed to making this work. So the old relationship isn't important in this discussion. Its a new ball game with new rules.

So this got me thinking that maybe this isn't going to work. I dunno. I want it to work. I love my wife as a wonderful mother to my children and I know she loves me for the same reasons. But we're just not that into each other. Not to say we didn't have issues, we did. But now that we've agreed to disagree, there is a zen like quality to our relationship, and this is what I want to capitalize on and make this current relationship grow and be the dominate one. Two people that have children together and together want to be great co-parents.

We made some basic goals, but I'm looking for some been there done that advice to help scope out some rules we can use as our ethos for this new relationship.

Thanks.

Jose
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Old 03-17-2012, 08:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rules for Separate but Living Together as Co-Parents

My ex and I planned to nest with one house for kids and a second place for the parent not with the kids, trading places every 3 to 4 days so kids could live in the one place and parents would go back and forth. Due to ex having mental health issues, we have been cohabiting most of the past three years. He has a girlfriend but she and her son never stay here, and I am fine with them being here for holiday meals, etc. I think it works fine if you can separate your personal life from your parenting. Keep your judgment about the other focused on their parenting decisions and do not let their other decisions affect how you judge their parenting. Making bad decisions about partners ( as long as partners are kept away from the kids) is not bad parenting, just like getting divorced does not make someone a less worthy employee, for example. Good luck.
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:35 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rules for Separate but Living Together as Co-Parents

I just posted a long reply and it got deleted. My son couldn't sleep kept waking me up, now I can't sleep. Me and my two boys are living in our converted garage studio. They stay with me half time and then collect their legos and walk back through laundry room to main house to stay with mom. It's been a financial savings and helped scaffold the transition. We are all sort of used to this new life. I kept telling myself I could keep it like this for the kids but I need my own place. It's been almost two years since we decided to end it. I've dated a little and it's too stressful. I'm also tired of the ambiguity that cohousing with their mom provides. They want to run in and say good night, they want me to come back in the house. I want us all to move on and accept the reality of this situation, but I'm really glad to have spent the time 'rehearsing' for moving out. I'm scared to tell them but plan on trying to make it positive and be prepared to be a container for their emotions. We have established written divorce agreement; not official but we have it almost all agreed on: custody, asset division, alimony and child support, hopefully we have prepared for this next step. It sounds like you are preparing too. You will know when its time to go.
best of luck
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:39 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Rules for Separate but Living Together as Co-Parents

I Know how you feel. I lam living with my husband and kids seperate bedrooms .I am very confused dont know what to do either. We have been like this for almost 5 years now.
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