Separation with Kids, Housing Alternative
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Life After Divorce Divorce is complicated, and change is never easy to cope with. Use this section for help and advice on living life after a divorce.

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Old 04-16-2012, 08:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Separation with Kids, Housing Alternative

My wife and I are currently working through the challenges of a separation after 15 years of friendly marriage with little to no intimate chemistry.

We have three kids and are muddling through different options to ensure we transition in the most healthy manner for them.

We are separating amicably and both have a ton of love, respect, and friendship for each other. Because of this, we want to live near each to ensure we are both in our kids lives on a regular basis.

One challenge to a separation is the financial aspect of running two households. She had a thought.

Rather than owning two 3-4 bedroom houses, what about the idea of having one 3-4 bedroom house and one studio/efficiency/1bdr apartment?

The idea, rather than have the kids go back and forth to mommy and daddy's house, have mommy and daddy go back and for the the family house.

This would obviously be a temporary sitituation until one party was ready to be move on seriously with another person....moreso than simply dating.

Pros:
- Monetary savings (rent/mortgage, heating/cooling, furniture...)
- Stability: The kids would have their own space, shuffling toys and clothing and this and that back and forth would not be required. They'd have a consistent living environment with one set of shared rules and chores. If pets are involved, there's no missing them.
- The kids continue to see that mommy and daddy have a good relationship and they would not being abandoned.
- Each parent has their free time and a place to host company, dates, etc.

Cons:
- It's not really moving on...
- ???
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Separation with Kids, Housing Alternative

Rather than taking on the extra expense of an apartment and utilities, why not spend the money on counseling. You say you have a ton of respect, love, friendship, etc. then why not just stay married? Is there infidelity?
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Separation with Kids, Housing Alternative

Very good question...I suppose that piece of the puzzle was left out.

The short answer is that for years (all of them) she has never had any passionate, intimacy feelings for me. She "hoped and prayed" for years that she would develop them. Through the years, I gave up trying. Little reject after little rejection isn't healthy, but we had a good friendship and family. We probably should not have ever married, but fear and contentment prevented a break up.

So, we are now here. Older, wiser, and wanting more from our lives.

Somethings can be worked on, but a therapist can not create chemistry.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Separation with Kids, Housing Alternative

I think it's called "nesting". And yes, I think it would be best suited for temporary purposes. If at all. How old are the kids?

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Old 04-16-2012, 10:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Separation with Kids, Housing Alternative

11, 8, 5
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Separation with Kids, Housing Alternative

So the next question... If you're so compatible except for intimacy, why not an open marriage or in-home separation? Cause if you're planning on starting a new relationship with someone while nesting, I'm not sure that boinking someone in a bed that your ex will be sleeping in the next night will go over so big. With either your new partner or old. And a new partner would likely be hesitant to get involved with someone so closely attached to their ex.

It's an interesting idea, but if it's time to move on, a clean break may be best.

C
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Separation with Kids, Housing Alternative

It's definitely something to think about. But, this process has gone on for over a year now. And for the past few months we have agreed that discreet dating is accepted. The thought of an open marriage has come up and based on the limited discreet experience, I'm not so certain about the effectiveness. Perhaps it would be different once we told the kids and it was trurly "open".

But, as you said, the new partner would have to fully agree to you living with your spouse/ex.

At least with the "nesting" arrangement, there is a clear distinction of separation and allows for a new relationship to build if so inclined.

It's a good discussion. It's early on in our process. But, with finances the way are, there's no immediate plans to move regardless.

With that said, there's a limbo state that's most frustrating. One can't move forward with self discovery as a newly single person while living with an ex.
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:42 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Separation with Kids, Housing Alternative

If there is a lack of intimacy, then read Married Man's Sex Life and run the MAP. You can change your behavior to influence hers. She is a highly sexual being but you have to bring it out of her. This book will show you how.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Separation with Kids, Housing Alternative

It sounds like a good deal for the kids, actually, but not so good for you and your ex. In order to become a fully functional single person you need your own space to occupy. This way you're still sharing with the ex and it doesn't seem as healthy for the two of you.

For what it's worth, kids adapt to shuttling back and forth, and they benefit from a good relationship between the two parents. My ex and I are able to be amicable to each other and talk about the kids' issues. The kids have their own spaces at each apartment and frankly I think they're handling all this better than I am
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Separation with Kids, Housing Alternative

This idea is being promoted by Divorced Father's Network

I think some families can make this work. This would not work for my X and I. I needed the space for myself.

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With that said, there's a limbo state that's most frustrating. One can't move forward with self discovery as a newly single person while living with an ex.
That is the major problem with that arrangement. There is no way around that one.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Separation with Kids, Housing Alternative

Two affordable places real close to each other would be better, the kids can go back and forth as needed. I've lived near people who have done this, in houses and in apartments and condos. It's worked out well, especially when jealousy about new partners isn't an issue. Bonus is you get a new partner who has enough self esteem and emotional stability to put the needs of your kids first and doesn't get all bent out of shape when you chat with your co-parent about the kids, etc.
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Separation with Kids, Housing Alternative

It sounds like a poor idea in practice. You will essentially be committing to a life of singledom until at least a few of your kids leaves the nest or your financial situations improve dramatically.

You certainly can't get remarried or cohab in this situation. Where will your gf or wife stay? Move with you every week? Share the apartment with your wife when you're with the kids?

If you guys are really that poorly set financially, I think you would be better off just staying in the same home and doing your separate things (unless the relationship deteriorates to a point where you really cannot be civil to each other). Unless you are talking about doing the occassional hookup, there seems to be little advantage in having two homes under those circumstances.
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