We’ve heard of famous people like Bruce Willis vacationing with his ex and kids (and Ashton) but apparently non-famous divorced couples do it too.
A new story from The Associated Press says family vacations with ex-spouses and kids is a great way to save money and foster good memories for the kids and sometimes even the parents.
” ‘If you get along with your ex it can be very easy to do,’ said Mike Geoffrion, 39, who has vacationed with his ex-wife, Janna, and kids, including a trip to Disneyland.”
“Geoffrion, who manages a bike store in Fort Collins, Colo., divorced in 2006 after six years of marriage but thinks the joint vacations have been nice for the kids as well as the adults. Supervising and entertaining children is less stressful with two parents, he said, and he enjoyed the adult interaction. ‘You get tired of talking to an 8-year-old over nice, expensive dinners,’ he said.”
“Vacationing together has also worked well for Meredith Morton, 39, an actress in Los Angeles, and her ex-husband, Shane Edelman. When they first divorced in 2004, they took vacations with their infant son, Ace, because they both wanted to enjoy his “firsts.” Since then they have each remarried, yet continue to vacation en masse with their new spouses, Ace, and his three half-siblings.”
“Most recently, they rented a large house in Palm Springs, Calif., and spent three days relaxing by the pool, playing with the children and making fun of golfers.”
” ‘It wasn’t just like we were just sharing rent. We went to be with them,’ Morton explained.”
“It helps that her husband, Scott Cutler, a music producer, gets along with Edelman. For one thing, Cutler likes to eat, and Edelman likes to cook.”
” ‘Die Hard’ actor Willis has vacationed with his former wife, Demi Moore, their three daughters, and her current husband, Ashton Kutcher. “It’s hard to understand, but we go on holidays together,” he told Vanity Fair in a 2007 interview. “We still raise our kids together — we still have that bond.”
“Fran Walfish, a psychologist in Beverly Hills, Calif., and author of ‘The Self-Aware Parent,’ said divorced couples vacationing amicably with their kids “gets my complete endorsement.”
“But she cautioned, children of divorce often fantasize that their parents will reunite, and vacationing together might feed that. Parents need to be clear that the trip is a special event, like a Disney visit or a birthday trip, ‘and say, ‘We really just wanted to both be with you.’ “
So if you wanted to give it a whirl, how would it work?
“Geoffrion said it has only worked for him when neither he nor his ex-wife were in a serious relationship. And, he said, although he paid for the previous trips, he’s at a point where he’d expect to split the expenses.”
“Karen Stewart, founder and chief executive of Fairway Divorce Solutions, a Calgary-based divorce mediation company with franchises throughout North America, recommends exes vacationing together negotiate the ground rules before the trip.”
“Differences in parenting style become even more apparent when couples live apart, says Stewart, author of the book, “How to Divorce with Dignity and Move on with Your Life.” Pre-trip agreement needs to be reached about finances, chores and sleeping arrangements.”
“She recommends parents consider planning some separate time during the trip, though Geoffrion said he and his ex-wife tried to behave like a family and did activities only as a group. They even stayed in the same hotel room, though different beds.”
I actually think vacationing with your ex-spouse would be less weird then it would be for mom or dad to bring along their new boyfriend or girlfriend on family vacations. I think that would have to be a very long-term relationship before they get to come along.
Have you ever vacationed with your ex? How did it go? Did you agree to ground rules before-hand? Did you split the cost on everything? Did you stay in the same hotel room? Could you work together OK? (Disney can be stressful for couples in love much less ones that are divorced.)
Would you ever consider this type of vacation with your ex?
– Theresa Walsh Giarrusso, AJC Momania