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Friday
Jun052009

Co-Parenting and Dating: Boyfriends and "BabyMamas"


Earlier this year, we posted an article that has generated a response far and above any other on this site.  "My Boyfriend, His Kids, and His Ex" clearly struck a chord with those who are trying to navigate relationships with co-parents.  While that article touches on some basics about co-parents and dating, there's much more to be said about the topic.  So, we will be presenting a series of articles, "Co-Parenting and Dating: Boyfriends and 'BabyMamas'", and we'd like your input!

Below are some of the topics we intend to cover in this series based on queries we've received from readers:

"Why He Won't Introduce You to His Kids": Timing is everything when it comes to introducing the kids to Someone New.  What are some of the considerations a parent must make?  How do you know when the time is right?  What's the difference between dating and step-dating?

« Co-parenting, Church, and Spiritual Practice | Main | Forbes: "Five Things Every Married Woman Needs to Hear About Divorce" »

Reader Comments (22)

Hi

I'm 21 years old and me and my boyfriend have been together for three years. He has two kids (4 & 2) from a previous relationship. When I met him he had one and about 3 or 4 months into us dating he found out that his ex was pregnant. Apparently they had fooled around right before we started dating. I decided to accept him and his situation, I really liked him and I just wanted to see where it would go. Fast forward three years later and our relationship is great, he's the best bf anyone could ask for. He's caring, he's sweet and overall a great person, he's always there when I need him. We've gotten so serious that we've talked about marriage and possibly moving in together next year. It hasn't all been a walk in the park. His ex is the definition of baby mama drama, she does not like me because she wants him back even though she cheated on him, she also hates that her kids like me. She has made it so dificult and has caused turmoil between us, there was a point where he still use to talk to her on the phone and through texts in a way where I did not approve. He never crossed the line but I felt as if he was allowing her to call him or text him whenever she felt like it and condoned her childish behaviour. He has then changed everything and taken my feelings into condiseration. She recently took him to court for custody and I have been there every step of the way. Its been hard for me to let go of how he use to act with her but we've gotten past it and our relationship was better than ever. A week ago I got news from him that he has yet another kid that he did not know about. He took a DNA test a month ago and confirmed it was his. Now this happened around the same time he fooled around with his ex and this was a one night stand in which he got drunk. She states she wants nothing from my bf and that she only wants her son to have a father. She claims she stayed away only because the ex, which she knew, threatened her (yes that's how crazy she is). Now besides the fact that he waiited a month to tell me, he says because it was hard for him and he couldn't find the words, I am just devastated and all together wierded out by this news. I love him so much and I love what we have but I'm jus unsure if I can handle or even get over this. I had plans of having his next child, and because he had two kids already which were girls then I would give him a boy. I knew I could not share having his first child but I was looking forward to one day giving him a babay boy. But those plans were crushed because the child he just found out about is a boy and he looks just like him! I want to stay but I don't want to make it dificult for him because I know myself and I know how I get with my questions and my mind will start racing and it will end up in constant arguments. I am also thinking about just the future, this is another baby mama I would have to deal with and 3 kids when I have none of my own. He is not selfish and has told me numerous times that he loves me and doesn't want to break up but understands if I can't stay. Since the news he's been more attentive and just even more wonderful but I get sad everytime I think about his new son. I want to stay with him and love our relationship but all these outside factors are getting to me. I have two ideas on this, one maybe this is just a test of our relationship and if we really love eachother. And two, what if this is Gods way of saying he's not for you? I'm just fighting myself because its hard to deal but I don't want to walk away. What would you do in my situation? Would you stay with a wonderful man who's everything you could ever ask for? Or do you walk away from a man with 3 kids from 2 other women?

June 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterIngrid

Hi, Ingrid,

You’ve said quite a bit, so let me respond to you, piece by piece:

I have two ideas on this, one maybe this is just a test of our relationship and if we really love each other…

You know, I hated it when I was younger (your age) and older people would sound so condescending to me when they would say, “You’re still young, you don’t know…” or “Wait until you’re older, you’ll see…” As much as I hated that myself, that’s precisely what I have to say to you now. At 21, you might feel all grown up, but if you don’t take away anything else from what I’m going to tell you, take this: You have so much more living to do! You have, God willing, MANY years ahead of you to live, to love, to learn, to meet people, to accomplish things, and yes, to have a family. Try to see your situation through this long-term lens. If I try to put myself in your shoes and look through this lens, I don’t see your boyfriend a solid long-term relationship material.

Yes, relationships are tested, but frankly, love is not enough. Marriage and raising (not just having, but RAISING) kids together takes so much more than love. It is hard work. It requires maturity, sacrifice, selflessness, and responsibility. You and your boyfriend might truly love each other, but that doesn’t mean that marrying and having kids together is a good idea. Based on what you’ve described, I would say that quite the opposite is true. You don’t give his age, but he seems irresponsible and sorely lacking in the qualities that make for a good mate. Whatever his age, it appears he still has a lot of growing up to do.

I would advise against continuing to see him. Frankly, I think you are wasting your time, and also, the last thing you want to do is get pregnant by this guy! I believe that would be seriously detrimental to you and to any child you would have.

If, however, you choose to stay with him…don’t marry him, don’t move in with him, and most certainly do not have a child with him. You can date him (though, again, I would not!) and see if he evolves, and more importantly, see how YOU evolve. I’m guessing that if you stay open to all the possibilities life has to offer you, personally and vocationally, in a few years’ time, you will not be interested in someone who has so little to offer you, and you will have the opportunity to meet others who may have more to offer you in terms of a healthy relationship.

Speaking of which…what, besides love, does your boyfriend have to offer you? Based on his track record, I can’t imagine that his life is very stable. Is he able to take care of and provide for his children? Is he living on his own, gainfully employed, and providing for himself? If he’s anywhere close to your age, how is he able to provide for three children? What kind of father is he to his children—is he involved, consistent, and a good role model? If not, is he really the person you want to make your life partner and father to your own children?

Too many young women settle down with the wrong guys because--whether a function of their age, their environment, or both--they can’t imagine anyone better coming along. Even if this is the case for you, don’t settle. You’ll never know if anyone better will come along if you get tied up with this guy now. It’s hard for some women to imagine, but there really are worse things in life than being alone—like being with someone who is immature, irresponsible, and not a good partner. As the women used to say when I was growing up, “You can do bad all by yourself.” Don’t sell yourself short!

And two, what if this is Gods way of saying he's not for you?

It may well be, so listen and heed.

I'm just fighting myself because its hard to deal but I don't want to walk away. What would you do in my situation?

I would walk away. If you think it’s hard now, imagine how much harder it’s going to be when he’s trying (or not) to take care of your child, along with his other three.

Is this a man you can truly trust, given his behavior? Trust is built over time. What has he shown you in terms of his trustworthiness, stability, and maturity, in the time you’ve known him? You’ve talked about love, but again, love is not enough.

Maya Angelou once said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” This guy has shown you—by unintentionally fathering 3 kids without a serious commitment to either of their mothers—who he is. Believe him, and walk away.

Would you stay with a wonderful man who's everything you could ever ask for?

Honestly, I think you need to ask for more. He may well be a nice guy, but not to my mind marriage or father material.

Think long-term, Ingrid. Love is a fleeting thing.

Best to you,
~Deesha

June 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteradmin

Deesha,

love this post, and you sure give some sound advice. I'm currently wondering about a relationship I am in, and you give a guy a lot to chew on. Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side isn't it.

Oh well, I'll have to talk about it with the GF. We have had this discussion also, and it is never too late to rehatch these issues we are having in our relationship.

June 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSolomon

Thanks for stopping by, Solomon. Glad you found the site useful!

Best,
~Deesha

June 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteradmin

[...] written by Anti-Racist Parenting columnist Deesha Philyaw; crossposted from Co-Parenting 101 [...]

I actually did not introduce my GF to my ex first. I wanted my new GF to be able to meet my daughter in a neutral place, in a non-threatening way, and on our own terms. My ex had boundary issues and insisted that she meet my new GF before I introduce her to my daughter. I'm not sure what that would have accomplished. If she thought that she was "screening" my new GF as appropriate enough for my daughter, it makes me feel like she doesn't trust my judgement of character.
Because she kept insisting that she have a private meeting with my new GF, it felt like she was dictating how my relationship with my new GF would progress.
In the end, my daughter loved my new GF, they get along fabulously, and we are hoping to start a new blended family with her daughter and my daughter.

June 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterP2H

Hi, P2H,

I'm glad things worked out for your daughter and that she has a great relationship with your girlfriend! Thanks for sharing your story. Have your ex's boundary issues improved now that some time has passed? Any suggestions or strategies you might share with others in your situation?

Best,
~Deesha

June 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteradmin

My ex's boundary issues haven't truly improved. After she realized she couldn't push me into agreeing to have my GF meet her first, she fired off several emails to my GF (they've been acquainted online previously via blogging) about how she thinks it is necessary and basically her right to meet her face-to-face. My GF refused and she and I stuck together side-by-side because we are a couple who agree to things in our daughters' and our own best interest.

For some reason, my Ex wants to remain friends. However, she wants to know what is going on in my life, including what's going on with my new GF. She's asked how things are going, as if she's going to give me advice on how to handle a new relationship despite the fact that our relationship failed.

There are also issues of race. As an Asian American, my Ex feels as if I'm only dating my new GF because she is of the same ethnic background as me. It couldn't possibly be because I like her as a human being. In the early stages, she said mean and hurtful things about me to my GF via email, and about my GF to me via talks. She implied my GF had an "accent," was too old for me (3 yrs older), and wasn't attractive. She claims that she is a prejudice free person, but then turns around and tells my GF that the only reason I am with her is because she's Asian like me. How is that NOT a bit racist?

She also tells me about her new BF, as if I'm supposed to be impressed by all his accomplishments. I have met him a few times, and have never had anything but pleasant exchanges with him. He's nice, and as far as I'm concerned, he treats my daughter well. However, I don't need to know every detail about him or what they're doing this weekend. It's as if my Ex is treating me like one of her gal pals and wants to gossip about her life. Isn't divorce about creating boundaries and living a new life?

With that said, I think she has poor sense of boundaries and can't fathom why I don't talk to her as much as I once did. I don't want to sit down and talk to her like we're old pals. I know what she's said about our failed marriage to her friends and even to my new GF. I know she's lied about things to people, but then to in person she's pleasant and wants to "talk" and hang out.

At the same time, if I confront her with what she's said, she'll either deny it, or turn it around and subtly play it against me with my daughter. She's tried to use "but it's in the best interest for daughter" so many times that I don't think she's ever even read a book on how to divorce with children.

In fact, she tried to photocopy pages out of it to give to me when I told her I was serious with my new GF and that my GF would be moving in with me. In those very pages she photocopied for me, I realized I did everything as suggested by many books. I waited a year before I started dating. My Ex waited one month. I didn't introduce my daughter to any of the women I dated casually. My Ex introduced both her BFs to our daughter. I set clear boundaries between our separate houses and lives. My Ex keeps trying to blend the lines together. I allowed my daughter to meet my new GF slowly, on neutral territory, and to do what my daughter wanted. My Ex invited new BFs to spend the weekend in the house.

My suggestion would be to realize that divorce is complicated and a long road. There isn't any one solution. But, having clear boundaries and never blurring them is the best road to take. Don't share time together as families because in reality that only keeps the child's dream of "getting back together" alive. It prolongs the grieving period the child needs to realize and adjust to a new life.

I've always realized that divorce with children is about the children first. I've done everything I can to protect and nurture love in my daughter. I can only hope that my efforts to create a new blended family, and to make my daughter as happy within the new family structure as possible, will prevail over the stressful divorce that I've lived.

Hope that offers some insight. Feel free to ask me anything you want. I've been through a lot of the potential questions you posed.

June 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterP2H

Hi, P2H...thanks for sharing more of your experience. It really sounds like you've maintained your composure in the face of your ex's dramatics and poor judgment, and I'm sure your daughter is happier and better adjusted for it.

Would you be interested in writing a brief (or not so brief! your choice...) guest-blog on dating after divorce, why you didn't introduce your daughter to your casual dates, and how you went about introducing her to your current girlfriend? If so, you can post it here as a comment, or send it to us via email: info AT coparenting101.org. I think many co-parents will benefit from your insights. You can include a photo if you'd like.

One thing I would like to address is...Don’t share time together as families because in reality that only keeps the child’s dream of “getting back together” alive. It prolongs the grieving period the child needs to realize and adjust to a new life.

I would say that this varies from family to family, child to child. In our case, having a sense of "family" and doing things together after the divorce has provided comfort to our children. Of course, we drew the line when one child asked us to "kiss like you're still married"! And we have never sent mixed messages to the kids--we are friendly, but not intimate. Our kids know the difference. We hear from many adult children of divorce that they never lost the fantasy of their parents reconciling, regardless of how much or how little time they spent together with both parents.

But I do agree that parents need to maintain clear boundaries so as not to confuse and further disappoint their kids.

Cheers!
~Deesha

June 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteradmin

Hey, my name is Jen, I actually found this site while searching for advice. I know that everyone thinks their situation is different from another person's situation but I have been having trouble finding advice that relates to my circumstances. I have been dating a man for a year now and I know that our relationship is still new. Oh, I should also add that we live about 2 hours apart and see each other roughly every other weekend. Where to start? My BF and his ex were separated for 4 years and the divorce was just finalized a few weeks ago. They do have a child together and I am finding it to be an obstacle. His daughter is wonderful but I feel sometimes like his ex uses their daughter as a way to still have a "connection" with him. I have no doubt that he is over their relationship and loves me but I feel like she calls too frequently and that the things she thinks they should together, they shouldn't. She has never ever been on her own, she's always had some one to take care of her and because of it she calls my boyfriend all 3-5 times a day even when she knows he and I are together for our weekend. It's usually over something that just "popped" into her head such as a fan is broken, can he get some things from Sams store, etc. My boyfriend is extremely passive and in his ideal world everyone would just be happy. I'm finding it difficult to explain to him why these things are NOT ok. Am I justified and if so how can I get the message across. I don't hate his ex but I do feel at times that she is trying to prevent him from being happy with me.

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Hi, Jen,

I think you're totally justified in wanting a weekend with your boyfriend that's not interrupted by unnecessary calls from his ex--i.e., calls that are not urgent and unrelated to his child's well-being.

If he's still doing things like picking up stuff from the store for her, both of them might be having difficulty with the parameters of their newly divorced status. Now, full disclosure: Mike and I have been known to ask or offer to pick up something the girls need at the store, as a favor to the other parent. So it's not that I think that's a problem in and of itself. What is a problem, as you have pointed out, is that it happens during his weekends with you, and seems to be a means for his ex to assert her presence in your relationship.

Since I don't know what your boyfriend's reaction has been when you've tried to broach this issue, it's hard to say what might be an effective means of getting your message across--the message being that you expect him to let his ex's calls go to voicemail, understanding that if there's a child-related emergency, she'll leave a message, and that everything else can wait. If he's reacted defensively, all you can do is establish what you expect and stand your ground. If he persists in not establishing a boundary with his ex, then maybe he's not yet ready to be in a new relationship with a woman whose feelings he must honor even when they conflict with his ex's whims and neediness.

Alternatively (and hopefully), if he's open to discussion, you might let him know that you understand that his ex has to get used to being on her own, but that the current state of affairs is not something you are content to live with indefinitely. Maybe he can agree that each weekend with you, she gets one random call from him--and thereafter, she gets sent to voicemail. Eventually, that can become zero random calls taken from her. Maybe because he wants everyone to be "happy", he might be amenable to this type of "weaning" for her.

On the subject of happy, you may also want to have a conversation with your boyfriend about what his limits are. Is he willing to make his ex unhappy if necessary to maintain boundaries? Or does her happiness trump all else, including what you ask of him in your relationship? Where's the line? To what end does he feel obligated to swing at everything his ex pitches?

Sometimes people respond better to clarifying questions. Let him know that you want clarity in your relationship.

Your boyfriend may do what some well-meaning co-parents do when they are striving to keep conflict to a minimum. They confuse their child's very real needs with the "needs" of the other parent, which are usually not needs at all but rather neediness, pettiness, a resistance to change, jealousy, incompetence, and/or fear of being alone. Perhaps you can encourage your boyfriend to clarify for himself what he really needs to do for his child vs. what he's doing to placate his child's mother. Because if he keeps up with the latter, he's hindering mom from: learning to do for herself; getting her real needs, emotional and practical, met elsewhere (friends, family, counseling); understanding the difference between her needs/neediness and her child's needs; and truly letting go of their past relationship, allowing them to forge a healthy new co-parenting relationship...with boundaries.

Now that's a truly tall order. Both you and your boyfriend have to decide if you are up for the challenge of moving in that direction and to those ends, and for the time and emotional energy it will require. As long as your boyfriend is moving in the right direction, at a pace you feel is respectful to you, hang in there!

Finally, woman-to-woman, I totally feel you that his ex may be purposely, however passive-aggressively, trying to interfere in your relationship. But of course your boyfriend may not respond as well to direct accusations; sometimes men don't "see" what we see. I really applaud your tempered approach to a tough situation. You aren't demonizing his ex, and you realize the solution lies with your boyfriend, ultimately. His ex may call, but it's his choice to answer or not. And, hopefully, the less available your boyfriend makes himself, the more his ex will be inclined to move on and stop calling unnecessarily.

Best to you,
~Deesha

October 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteradmin

My ex just got married to the lady he started dating after I moved out. I have never met her. I stated to my ex-mother in law that I want him to be happy and as long as this lady is good to my daughter, I couldn't ask for anything else.

April 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoAnna

Great attitude, JoAnna! Can we bottle that?? :-) Kudos to you for keeping the focus where it belongs: on your child!

April 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteradmin

So here is my situation. My daughter is turning a year old this friday. Her father and I split before I ever found out I was pregnant with her. In the last year of her life, her father has had absolutely nothing to do with her. I had forced myself to move on from him and I met an amazing man! He and my daughter get along wonderfully. But now all of a sudden Haylees father is in the picture. He wants to be a part of her life now. My boyfriend is hurt because he saw himself as eventually taking the fathering role of my daughter. The truth is though he and I have only been together for two months. I am just so confused I dont know how to make everyone happy. Sometimes I just want to be alone with my daughter. Not have to worry about another parent but at the same time Im happy with my boyfriend and I want him to be a part of our lives.

May 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHillary

Hi, Hillary,

You wrote: I am just so confused I don't know how to make everyone happy. The bad news perhaps, from your perspective, is that it's not possible to make everyone around you happy. The good news is that it's not your job to make everyone around you happy. Your job is to love your daughter and act in her best interest. The adults--your boyfriend and your child's father--are responsible for their own happiness.

The sentiment you expressed, that you sometimes just want to be alone with your child and not worry about another parental figure, is not uncommon among single parents. But here are a few things to keep in mind: 1) Others can help you bear the parenting load and can relieve you when you need a break. Beyond that, each parent or other special person may have something unique and enriching to offer a child; 2) unless your ex poses a threat to your child that you can prove, he still has parental rights unless a court rules otherwise. Your boyfriend is certainly entitled to his hurt feelings, but unless your ex's parental rights are terminated, any "fathering" role your boyfriend could potentially take in the future would be secondary if your ex decides to participate in your child's life. If your ex poses no harm and can be a reliable and healthy presence in your child's life, then all the adults involved will need to honor and respect his role as your child's father.

You can certainly raise any concerns you may have e.g., re: your ex's fitness, your daughter's young age, and the fact that her father is stranger to her, when/if you begin to work out a parenting time agreement. Which leads me to 3) You didn't say what your ex specifically wants in terms of being a part of your daughter's life now. I would encourage you to draft a formal agreement and submit it to family court. Such an agreement will address parenting time allotted, whether such time will be supervised, how/if the agreement will be modified as your daughter gets older, and other details. Consult an attorney or local family court officials for advice on this process.

Finally, there are multiple relationships here, and it's in your daughter's best interest that the boundaries between each of them are respected. You've done the hard work of moving on from your ex. The intimate relationship between the two of you is over, but a relationship between father and daughter is possible...which will necessitate some degree of a co-parenting partnership between you and your ex. Then there's the potential relationship between your boyfriend and your child; I hope he can see a role for himself outside of fathering IF your relationship with him progresses. As you acknowledged, you've only been together for 2 months, so you're still getting to know one another. Whether your ex showed up or not, talk of a fathering role for your boyfriend sounds awfully premature at this point.

Best to you,
~Deesha

May 24, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteradmin

This is a very important topic in child rearing. My situation is that when I met my Ex she had two children. I contacted both of the men and informed them that I was on board and planned on being a part of their kids lives. So man to man I could be respected. And I would know what kind of men I was dealing with. I had raised her children with mine for many years until our relationship ended. I can and will only accept this kind of upfront respectable behavior. We as parents need to have respect for the other parties. I have taught my daughters that if a man wants to be with you he should be able to speak to to your father and any party that is involved in her life. I have also taught my son that ( I am a recent grandparent) that when he was having some trouble from his girlfriends father is because he did not come to him as a man and discuss his intentions. Luckily he was able to rectify that by standing up and expressing himself to her father. I think I would gladly put my daughters hand in the hand of a Man who would come to me respectfully and say that he loves my daughter and she love him. then I would just ask to take care of her like I take care of her or better. But as I see these shows about "You are the Father" I ask where are the fathers of these girls and why in the world is a DNA test needed.

April 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRasheed

I was married for 7 years and have 2 daughters. We have been seperated for over a year and are just working on finalizing the divorce. My ex lives 7 hours away and gets visitation at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and 3 weeks in the summer. My concern is that my ex has a live in girlfriend and she has a daughter from a previous relationship. I have expressed that I am not comfortable with our daughters staying with their dad if his girlfriend will be staying there. She babysat them while they were there in the summer which I did not approve of because I had not met her yet. I was not able to discuss anything with her before she was around my kids and they sprung the babysitting thing on me after they were already there. Anyway they were not cared for very well by her. They were allowed to go outside by themselves. (they were 6 & 2), they had several cuts and scrapes that were not taken care of, and they came home dirty. That is why I am not comfortable with her being there. But they won't listen to my point of view at all and I don't feel like there is anything I can do about it. I just don't know how to handle the situation. It just makes me sick not knowing what kind of care my children are going to receive while they are at their dad's house and who they are going to be around. I would appreciate any advice about this.

November 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlynn

Hi, Lynn:

You said that you are working on finalizing your divorce, so you may be able to include a provision in your shared parenting agreement about childcare during your ex's parenting time. If you haven't already, send an email or letter expressing your concerns about how the girls were cared for and supervised during their last time with their dad. You might also include a request to meet his girlfriend. This will provide documentation that you have attempted to address this directly with your ex. You may also be able to ask the court for one or two mediation sessions so that you have a conversation with your ex about your concerns with the help of a neutral 3rd party. Be sure that in your correspondence and conversations about the situation you keep your focus on how your children are being cared for, so that the issue isn't framed as being about his girlfriend. Young children going outside unsupervised is a safety issue; it's not about his girlfriend. Beyond that, it's his call whose around the children during his parenting time, as long as they aren't being harmed.

Finally, I know you're worried, but it might help to do some self-care while the kids are away; spend time with friends, catch up on sleep, read a book, or enjoy your favorite shows. Get together with other moms or dads whose kids are also with their other parents. Do things that you don't typically have time to do when your kids are with you.

Best to you. ~Deesha

November 22, 2013 | Registered CommenterDeesha Philyaw

Hi,

This is my situation.

My partner has 3 children to the same father and I have recently pursued a relationship with their mother. I am gay which brings unique situations in itself. Both Mum and I have stamina and patience to chew through the finer details of the co-parenting aspects.

My history consists of a failed marriage and growing up without a mum. This has in turn shaped my actions and resulted in a open minded fashion when dealing with the safety and nourishment of Family in all its colours, shapes and sizes. I understand that the co-parenting relationship requires attention and patience which I continue to contribute to openly with my partner.
I am having trouble identifying what is a co-parenting matter and what is not? When this is raised the response is usually one of fierce protection. I am confused and want only to understand the intricacies in order to have a harmonious life with my partner.

Your website has provided insight and enlightenment thank you for that.

Rainbows and Unicorns exist.... thanks

March 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterShayne

You're welcome, Shayne! I wish you all the best in your relationship! ~Deesha

March 23, 2014 | Registered CommenterDeesha Philyaw

Hi Deesha,

First off, Thank you so much for your book. Navigating my co-parenting relationship has been so confusing, and mysterious. Your book really helped me feel like I had a road map to follow.Thank you!

My story goes like this: My boyfriend and I broke up seven months ago, after a 4 year relationship, and have a 17 month old son. It has been a rocky road, and I certainly have not acted perfectly, both of us have made some mistakes on this new relationship so far. For the past two months it has been going much better, we are able to communicate openly about our son, swapping stories of funny new things he is doing, and discussing eating/sleeping/scheduling concerns. While reading you book, I was inspired. It's like the light bulb went off, that "No, it's not about me, or him, its about the child, our son." And this has really helped me feel more comfortable talking to my son's father instead of fighting or yelling at him. One of the major issues I had was his father started dating someone two months after we broke up,and immediately introduced our son to her. This caused a lot of fights, but like I said now I am accepting it, and trying to think about our son, and what is best for him, which is two parents that get along. I said some hurtful things to this woman, and they now live together. Last year for my son's birthday, we had a joint party where all of our son's family was together from both sides. In our last conversation, I asked my ex about spending some time together once in a while with our son on holidays and for his birthday, and said his new girlfriend and her son were more than welcome to join. He thought this was a ridiculous request and said that she hated me and I just needed to let it go that we would not be able to do things together. I mean I think its understandable that I would still have feelings for him after a four year relationship and only being separated two months, obviously I said some things that I regret. What can I do here? I would like to apologize to his girlfriend, obviously she is a big part of my sons life now too. But is it right for her to dictate how our co-parenting goes? Things like I'm not allowed at their new house because she doesn't like me, I have to meet him down the road for pick ups.. How is this best for our son?

March 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

So my situation goes like this. About a year and a half ago me and my boyfriend started to go out. Long story short his son is two now and I still have yet to meet the baby mama. I know I'm ready to meet her but he hasn't tried to introduce us. We make eye contact when I go with my boyfriend to drop his son off but that's about it. I really want to introduce Myself. I have nothing against her. I respect her even though I haven't met her and I love my boyfriends son as if he was my own. I just want her to know that I'm here to stay and not just some random girl my boyfriend is hanging around. Maybe you have some insight on why he hasn't. I'm clueless.

April 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermary

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