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Anna
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Category: Relationship
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Experience:  29 years experience in addictions & mental health. I'll tell you my honest opinion.
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Boundaries for wifes ex husband... I am the husband in a

Resolved Question:

Boundaries for wife's ex husband...?
I am the husband in a relationship and wonder about the boundaries for the ex husband?

My situation...

My wife still has ties with her ex husband for the sake of their 2 kids 8 and 11. Him and I get along to an extent, but I chose to keep it professional as I have to learn to accept his role in his childrens lives. Alot of times he seems to know more things that are going on in my home than I do. I always seem to be the last one to know about plans, etc...

To add more, we have 2 kids together as well.

Now to the point.... My wife invites her ex husband to "sleep over" Christmas eve (and on other occasions without my consent) so he can be with his kids on Christmas morning, without even asking me or discussing with me on how I feel about this. I honestly feel it is inappropriate and uncomfortable for me to allow this. Just seems too creepy if you will. This is our (mine and wife) family... she divorced that family, why should I have to feel obligated to honor that old marriage in my own home? What boundaries need to be established without being a "jerk" to the ex? I mean, I am the "man" of the house and I should have a say in this right? She doesn't seem to get it or understand because she has never been in a step enviroment.

So is it wrong for me to feel this way? Should I just let it go and "live" with it?



Concerned Dad/Husband
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Anna replied 7 years ago.


HiCustomer

Your gut is perfectly right on all accounts. It is poor boundaries of your wife to invite any man to spend the night in your home without your agreement - not just your consent or notification. It is very creepy that she does this, and that he does it too. I've done family counseling for 28 years and have never heard of a family who did this, or wanted to. You're not a jerk for having this move towards normal, it's just normal. You can say, "our kids are getting older, and I'm ready to make new arrangements." The guy can come over in the morning...if you want him too.

I think you and your wife would really benefit from a couple sessions with a family counselor to learn about and decide on appropriate boundaries for the blended family you have. You don't want to end up as the bad guy, and she may take it like this is a personal issue that you have with her ex, instead of just a normal transition through the structural change that happens in divorce and remarriage.

So, back to your questions:
creepy? yes.
obligated to honor the ex marriage in your home? no
are you the man? yes
do you have a say? You better have, or this is really a much bigger problem
wrong to feel this way? No. normal
let it go? I wouldn't, nor do I recommend that you do.
is it inappropriate? yes
uncomfortable? yes, and it really will be odd for your kids to have this open back door all the time.

You make perfect sense to me. Talk to her calmly about it, and if that doesn't work, go to counseling for a couple sessions and set some ground rules for the marriage.

If you would, please fill out the feedback form after accepting. I appreciate this opportunity to help you out today, and I've done my best to give you a direct, informed response to your question. If you feel my professional answer is worth more than your original bid, a bonus is the way to show it. If I can be of further service to you, just put "for Anna" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it.

Thanks!

Anna

Anna and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
thank you for the reassurance! Kindly accepted.
Expert:  Anna replied 7 years ago.


You're welcome. Don't let this issue slide - it's a big one.
Anna