What’s the etiquette on divorce dating?

I got a note from an old friend saying some divorce dating topics on the blog would be helpful to her. Here’s what she wrote:

“Not sure if you know that I a divorced mom of 2 …  I have been on my own for several years and have been very careful with dating, integrating etc…  I have been dating someone for over a year and am now starting to integrate the kids into the picture.  I have been very slow in the process as I do not believe in parading men in and out of my kids life, etc…

Would love to hear thoughts on…

1.  How long should you wait to introduce the kids to someone your dating? …

2.  How long should you wait to have “spend the nights” with the person you are dating and your kids.  Should you have a talk with your kids beforehand….  Should you ease into it… have the person start with the couch and then move to the bedroom???

3.  Steps to make sure that the person you are dating is a good fit for you and for your kids.  I do not think people think this through…  Can they handle day-to-day life with the chaos that kids bring – from sibling fights, every day chatter, activities, etc….”

So ladies (and gentlemen) gives us your thoughts on my friend’s questions. I’m sure you all will have some good insight into what has worked and what hasn’t!

340 comments Add your comment

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 15th, 2010
1:19 pm

What’s funny is the religious girls also had a real thing for guys with a healthy disrespect for all things religious. I think they thought I was a “bad boy” without actually being a criminal. For some reason dating a guy like me who is DEFINITELY going to hell was alluring to them.

Julia

January 15th, 2010
1:19 pm

would you have made her pay child support?

FCM

January 15th, 2010
1:22 pm

@ Tiger you didn’t happen to grow up in GA did you? Doesn’t matter there are probably a few like that every where. For me the thing was that I thought I had to love the dude ROFLMAOAM. Anyway now I know better. Just have to find the guts to talk to that guy who has been on my mind (oh and he would be old enough to be the truth’s GF dad but that is ok!!)

Good Fit

January 15th, 2010
1:22 pm

Truth – i hear ya. Men need to unite in this country and fight for divorce law modifications. I never got why women who get child support are never ever responsible to show where money is going. I know there are some mothers who receive a very minimum, but there are some women who collect thousands of dollars and kids see none of it.

BMK

January 15th, 2010
1:22 pm

lovelyliz, January 15th, 2010, 12:18 pm:
The etiquette on divorce dating also has a lot to do with the nature of the divorce. If it was an abusive situation you got out of, it MIGHT do your children some good to see Mom or Dad being treated kindly.

That is a great point you make!

My niece (13) and nephew (15) have actually encouraged their father (my brother) to open up to the possibility of meeting some new people. I know they love him dearly and would welcome anything to give him a fuller life.

He has joint custody and spends half his time living alone, moping around, avoiding a social life, and obsessing only about when his kids are scheduled for their next custody rotation.

His ex-wife remarried quickly after their divorce (she had that pump primed way in advance). Her remarriage brought in three step-children to the equation. So my niece and nephew see her busily going on with her life after she did so many horrible things to my brother. Then they see my brother so alone and withdrawn. And they just don’t think it’s fair that it worked out that way.

But my brother got kicked to the curb so many times and in so many ways during and after his 16 year marriage. In fact, I still have a hard time realizing that it all actually happened.

It seems he would almost have to meet a woman who’d been dumped on pretty badly for them to have any commonality. And any woman with that experience is probably avoiding a social life as much as my brother is.

DJ Sniper

January 15th, 2010
1:22 pm

Truth, that is definitely a travesty of justice. You’re not the first man I’ve heard of who filed for divorce after the wife was caught cheating, yet the wife got to keep the house. I agree that divorce laws need to be updated and that judges needs to get rid of the notion that the mother is automatically the best parent for the child.

FCM

January 15th, 2010
1:26 pm

“My ex rent payment is the same if she is only one living there. So what is your point?”

NOT TRUE. Without my kids I could live in a one bedroom apartment. My water, grocery, and electric bills would be different. Wear and tear on my car is higher carting them around not to mention the gas to do the same.

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 15th, 2010
1:28 pm

@FCM….nope..not from GA…..You mean there’s another one out there like me? God help us all!

Julia

January 15th, 2010
1:28 pm

FCM amen sister!

FCM

January 15th, 2010
1:29 pm

Good fit — I keep detailed records and they are produced when asked of where his CS check and an EQUAL portion of my paycheck go to take care of OUR children.

Good Fit

January 15th, 2010
1:29 pm

FCM – see your point here. But what about if spouse owns a home? So other spouse pays for x rooms for kids to live for about 18 years, but other spouse gets to keep the house at the end? By the way, real estate doubles every 10 year (generally speaking).

Julia

January 15th, 2010
1:30 pm

FCM if is dad asked me that I would point to the boy’s stomach!

Julia

January 15th, 2010
1:31 pm

Good Fit, if she moved out with the kids she cant get a one bed room apartment… they all are using the utilities… its not that cut and dry….

Good Fit

January 15th, 2010
1:34 pm

FCM – this is you. Not all women are like you. My point is women are not required by law to provide proof where they spend CS money. My brother is paying over $1500 child support for 15 year old and his ex does not even buy a pair of underwear for a child or pay for any after school activity. She does not even provide lunch money. So he is stuck with child support plus child expenses.

Dar

January 15th, 2010
1:35 pm

DJ Sniper and Truth – Unless you have a truly mutually agreed upon divorce (a creature I have heard of, but never actually witnessed), one person is always going to get screwed. Sorry, but there is almost always cheating going on before a marriage ends because in general folks do not walk until they have someone to walk to. After 11 years of my earning the bread, paying for his spending habit, doing the cooking, cleaning, etc. my ex up and walked one day to be with someone else’s wife – or so he thought, because she got tired of him pretty quickly when he didn’t have my money to spend anymore. I kept the house (why shouldn’t I, I paid for it), and most of the savings (again, I am the one who saved it, not him because he was spending two times his pay every month while we were married) and our son (because my ex is selfish and I know the only reason he would have taken the child would have been to get support from me). And that man took a check from me….although thank God he was so strung out on the idea of getting with her that he only took about 5% of my net worth….and now pays child support at such a low rate it would shame you folks to see it in print and yet he still complains about paying it or having to pay for part of medical expenses (and yes, I make him pay that because damnit just because I make good money should not mean he doesn’t have to have some hand in the financial caretaking of his child). Divorce always sucks for those of us who did not ask for it….or had to ask for it because the other person went bonkers.

Julia

January 15th, 2010
1:37 pm

Good Fit I just now get 833 a month for child support

FCM

January 15th, 2010
1:37 pm

Good fit did you miss where mine does not exercise his custody rights? At first by his choice now by his being out of state. He only recently started it again. Even if he did it exactly the way it says in our agreement: He does not need to keep the same home we do. He has them less. He could keep a 2 bedroom home/apt and his water, food etc would only go up a bit since the kids still spend 90% of the time with me. On top of which he purposely does not exercise his custody rights (he has said this) because of that clause I mentioned about no sleepovers.

Theresa I could get with you and work a trade of time off :)

Lynn

January 15th, 2010
1:40 pm

Wow, busy topic today. Haven’t had time to read everyone’s comments but I have had a little experience with this one. I was in a miserable marriage for 20 years. I married the man (thinking I was in love) at 15, had a child at 17 and from there, things went down hill. Ten years later, I thought having another child may bring a little happiness into my life, and she did, but it didn’t help my relationship with him at all. I had intentions of preparing to divorce him and suddenly popped up pregnant (two years later) while on the pill. Although I wouldn’t take a million for my youngest, needless to say, this was devastating to me. I made it until the youngest was 5 and finally made my move. The first few months being single was hell putting it mildly. I didn’t date but met a very nice man who was just a good friend many months before becoming something more. I never once let my children know that I was involved with this man for the 2 years it took for the divorce to be final. By then, they had grown to love him for who he was as much as I did and they even encouraged the relationship. If I had to do it over, I would do it just like I did. My children didn’t resent him thinking he stopped me from reuniting with their dad and they grew to love him with the time we allowed. Now they look at him more as a father figure then they ever did their dad and I finally found happiness so it all turned out great.

Maxedout

January 15th, 2010
1:41 pm

Being a divorced father of a 6 year old boy. I do not want him to grow up thinking it is ok to date casually so for the moment I do not date. Not that I could with all of his activities. But I have friends that do and I just do not agree with the message it is sending. Never wanted divorced and I believe that marriage is sacred as well as being intimate.

FCM

January 15th, 2010
1:43 pm

Good fit just like there are birthing agents (not Moms) out there who do like you say and give us CPs a bad name. There are dead beat dads (like my ex) who give NCPs a bad name too.

When I met a dad like you describe your brother to be I hug them and say thank you. It is good to know some NCPs are good Dads.

In my case I have never asked my ex for $$$ for school activities, sport events (that they play in or otherwise), church events, birthday parties (child’s or their friends), clothes, or even medical. I ask for his CS check only. As such Daddy is the awesome dude who gets them the Nintendo, the iPOD, etc and I am just the lady who gets them clothes for birthdays and such.

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 15th, 2010
1:44 pm

@ Maxedout…..just curious…is it your belief that marriage is the process that sanctifies sex?

Good Fit

January 15th, 2010
1:44 pm

FCM – read what i wrote. I said not all women are like you, meaning not all women are in the same situation, honest and good care takers.
I was pointing to the other side of the coin – situations where men get screwed.

Abby

January 15th, 2010
1:49 pm

Tiger’s funny. He said: “but I don’t expect my son to wait until marriage, and I also don’t expect to be a young grandparent. I expect to talk to my kid about the when’s and how’s and how to avoid pregnancy and STD’s.”

Yeah Tiger. Talk to your kid about sex and he’ll ALWAYS use a condom. Yeah, RIGHT!!! LMAO

Maxedout

January 15th, 2010
1:49 pm

No…although I am saying it complicates things….anybody can have sex…but it takes a real person to have sex and take all the responsibilities of doing such.

Good Fit

January 15th, 2010
1:52 pm

Maxedout – i should write this down. Good one – very wise.

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 15th, 2010
1:52 pm

@ Abby…it’s funny…that concept is as hilarious to you as the concept of him remaining a virgin until his mid to late 20’s is to me!!!

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 15th, 2010
1:56 pm

I don’t disagree with you maxedout…I was just curious.

Good golly Mis Molly...

January 15th, 2010
1:57 pm

Tiger, you arrived late to the party because of the Mountain Standard Time zone in which you live – both Liz and the mom2 were both referring to not having sex AT THEIR HOME prior to getting re-married – that CO rarified air is affecting your comprehension!

Abby

January 15th, 2010
1:59 pm

Don’t worry Tiger – we’ve read your comments for a while now. We know you have absolutely no moral or ethical standards and wouldn’t think twice about doing anything that felt good to you – no matter the cost to anyone else.

We don’t expect you to raise your child any different. Him first and foremost. To hell with decency, morality or even basic right & wrong.

Fine dad.

ShakingHead.

January 15th, 2010
2:01 pm

Abby, there is no way to make sure your teenager will not have sex, barring you lock them up.

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 15th, 2010
2:01 pm

It’s not rarified air Miss Molly…it’s clean, crisp air….and I’ll give you that I may have interpreted their statements incorrectly…but I’m not sure….let’s go to directly to the source.

@ LIZ…if you’re still out there, can you tell us what you meant on your first posting. Were you saying the divorced parent should wait to have sex until marriage, or go ahead and do the mattress mambo before marriage, just don’t do it as a sleepover until you’re married?

ShakingHead.

January 15th, 2010
2:03 pm

Mis Molly, I think we all got your point long ago.

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 15th, 2010
2:04 pm

WOW ABBY! I’m used to people disagreeing with me…but such VICIOUS PERSONAL attacks when haven’t really criticized anyone or their point of view?!?

Let me guess someone has REALLY hurt you in the past.

I'm shaking my head at this...

January 15th, 2010
2:05 pm

…comment – “there is no way to make sure your teenager will not have sex, barring you lock them up”. Guess you have never been privvy to what goes on inside a prison!

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 15th, 2010
2:07 pm

@ ABBY…just out of curiosity…what moral and ethical standards do you feel I am lacking in?

ShakingHead.

January 15th, 2010
2:08 pm

So you’ve been to prison and dropped the soap? Tell us all about it. I’m sorry I have to explain every single detail for your shallow mind. “Barring you lock them up BY THEMSELVES.”

Maxedout

January 15th, 2010
2:10 pm

Thanks Tiger and PR….

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 15th, 2010
2:11 pm

@ Maxedout…don’t thank me…in case you haven’t heard, I’m completely devoid of any ethics or morality. :-0

Maxedout

January 15th, 2010
2:12 pm

Though we may disagree on some points it is ok to agree to disagree.

ShakingHead.

January 15th, 2010
2:13 pm

Evidently, Abby has not realized that the offspring that is forbidden to have sex, comes home pregananto.

Well, Tiger...

January 15th, 2010
2:14 pm

…you do, on almost a daily basis on this blog, tell us how blase’ you are about morals and stuff – so yeah, you seemingly are devoid of ethics and morality, and you brag about it.

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 15th, 2010
2:14 pm

No truer words have been spoken.

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 15th, 2010
2:15 pm

@ Well Tiger…that’s interesting….can you give me ONE example where I was blase about morals?

Dar

January 15th, 2010
2:16 pm

In Tiger’s defense, I too read some of the first posts to be saying that sex outside of marriage is wrong, whether you do it when your kids are in the house or not.

For example, Abby said this at 8:02 am “Why do people think it’s perfectly alright to have sex outside of marriage when you’re divorced, but not when you haven’t been married before?” And someone else asked Theresa if she thought it was an acceptable example for children for a divorced woman to go away for a weekend with a man to have sex.

Sorry, but I read the early stuff as saying divorced people are not supposed to have sex…we are supposed to wait until we are remarried, but we are not supposed to do anything to get to the point of being remarried (like take a test drive) so I guess those of us who are divorced are just supposed to accept that our lives are now over and we are to become sexless slaves to our children’s emotions until they grow and leave home and then we should just wither and die I guess. Did I miss something?

Good Golly Miss Molly...

January 15th, 2010
2:17 pm

…actually, I was referring to women’s prison where dropping the soap is not necessarily required! And, can’t you have sex by yourself….

ShakingHead.

January 15th, 2010
2:17 pm

That’s how I took it as well DAR.

ShakingHead.

January 15th, 2010
2:18 pm

Molly, are you just writing comments to see your words in print? If so, please reconsider.

Tiger needs me on his PR team

January 15th, 2010
2:19 pm

@ Dar…thanks for the backup…I can cancel my enrollment back to english comprehension at the local community college!

If Liz comes back and says her intent was just about the sleepovers and not about sex outside of marriage..I’ll be happy to recant my earlier post!

Julia

January 15th, 2010
2:23 pm

Damn tiger! what did you do to piss every one off while I was away from the computer :)

IF any one thinks that kids are gonna wait til ther wedding night to get laid.. hmm hmmm hmmmm.. Ok I have known many a women who did wait and it was NOT all it was cracked up to be…..

I dont think he was trying to set his child up with a hooker, he just does not have on rose colored glasses…

Yes, Dar...

January 15th, 2010
2:23 pm

…you missed the point of the question “2. How long should you wait to have “spend the nights” with the person you are dating and your kids. Should you have a talk with your kids beforehand…. Should you ease into it… have the person start with the couch and then move to the bedroom???”

Reading comprehension 101 is required when trying to have grown up dialogue as I, as Miss Molly, have tried to point out in previous posts.