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Wife Left Me For My Best Friend

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I’d really appreciate some views or advice please as I just don’t know what to do for the best. Sorry it’s a long one: My wife left me for BF (ex-friend of mine) about a year ago and we’re now divorced. I kept the kids (9, 7 and 4) and although she doesn’t give me any maintenance money she only works part time and still comes to my house to take and collect the kids from school so that I can go to work, so effectively I employ her as a nanny.

This means that they see her virtually every day but live at home with me. Unfortunately it also means that I see her every day too and I find it very difficult to deal with (we rarely speak). I am thinking of moving house so that I’m closer to work (I have an hour commute each way) but this could mean that the existing arrangement would have to end and I would have to probably take them to school myself before work (which would be fine) and arrange childcare between the end of school and my working day (which I could also do).

However it would also mean the kids seeing less of their mother, which she is not at all happy with. I’ve discussed it with the kids and they seem ok with the idea (but they’re too young to understand the effects). I’m never going to move out and leave the kids, firstly because I won’t and secondly because the elder two have told me that they want to stay with me and not her – so please don’t suggest this as a solution.

I want to know whether you think it would be ok for my kids to move so that their mother doesn’t see them every day and they spend more time with a nanny. I also think it might help me to move on if I didn’t have to see her all the time – but I don’t know, so I need your advice. I could move half way and keep the existing arrangements but I’d still be seeing her everyday, am I wrong to want to put an end to this and move the whole way? Thanks Mike.

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9 thoughts on “Wife Left Me For My Best Friend”

  1. Mike I feel for you. I think the hardest thing about divorce is having to maintain a relationship with someone you would really rather not have anything more to do with. If you have children together, of course, thats the deal for a lot of us. Is there any other way around this apart from moving? It really would be a shame to disrupt your children. The arrangement sounds good for them if not for you. It doesnt sound on paper that she is that intrusive in your life if she just takes the children to school and stays with them till you get home – is there more to it than that?

  2. Mike, I think you need to think long and hard about moving house. It would mean the children changing schools, presumably, as well as them having to find new friends. Add to that the fact that as you say they are too young to understand the implications of not seeing their mother! I will be blunt here, but not unsympathetic. I think you are wanting to run away from your situation. You are finding it quite intolerable. But you have to think of the effect on the children. At the moment, they are settled and the arrangements are working well for them. I know it isn’t working as well for you. See it from the children’s point of view and I think you will find that you have really answered your own question. The children need a relationship with both parents, which is what they have at the moment. Don’t spoil that for them, by moving away. It will be hard for you to stay, I realise that. But the children need what they have. If you look at it from their point of view, you will be able to ride this out until you feel better in yourself.

  3. Rather than move couldn’t you do something so that you don’t have to see your ex every day? (which must be a pain in the b*tt frankly) for example, couldn’t you employ a childminder or babysitter or whatever for the last hour or half hour – so that, if your ex is with the children in your house, she leaves half an hour or an hour before you get home & the babysitter takes over then. Or if they are at her house the babysitter brings them over to your house for the last half hour? (lots of nice, reliable local teenage girls would be happy to earn a bit of money to work an hour a day). Just a suggestion – please don’t anyone jump down my throat! – but it seems you can avoid all the disruption to yourself & the children & their mother by thinking around the problem. It must be hard for you (especially on top of the commute). Hope you sort it.

  4. Thanks for you help – I really appreciate all the comments – That’s all there is to the arrangement (although she also has them on Friday nights at her flat), and although it is difficult it’s not intolerable – it’s worked so far so perhaps I am being selfish. I guess I’m beginning to think that long term I might want to find someone else who might have me and I think this whole thing is holding me back. I guess you guys are right, although there would be other advantages of moving even if I kept the childcare as it is. We’re a bit remote at the moment and I think it would do the kids good to be closer to other houses so that they could go out and play on their own in future and it would save me time commuting so I’d see more of them. As for making friends I think they’d be ok, they’re all very gregarious and find it very easy to make friends on holiday, at the park, in the supermarket, anywhere really. This is an aspect I’ve discussed in depth with all of them especially my eldest who is the more sensitive of the three and she is quite happy to move school so long as her friends could visit occasionally.

    Greg – I appreciate the thought but I’m not sure it’s practical to be honest. We only see each other for two minutes a day at the moment as it is and it’s not necessarily the physically seeing her that hurts, it’s everything else too – which I know readers will be all too familiar with.

  5. Mike is there no way she can cover the after-school bit in your new place as well? Or is it more that you would rather not go on seeing her every day… That I think is the crux of your dilemma. It does seem a shame to end an arrangement that seems to suit the kids so well, as you say, they’re a bit young to be able to understand the full implications, so you will have to consider those for them . Maybe you should give some thought to what sort of contact pattern could replace the present arrangement – that also should be a factor in your thinking. eg what happens at weekends? Is midweek overnight stays with her practical etc etc. Can you modify your work hours, or work from home sometimes? Would fewer bigger blocks of time suit her more or not? In the end, it may be that you have to put your own needs to move away from your ex in second place to the children’s needs for regular and effective contact with both parents. But thats hard. I hope you see your way forward soon. Good luck.

  6. Mike – If you did move away, would this make your ex want to maybe try for residency? You said that you would never move out and leave your kids, but what if she went to court over it? Mothers in this country seem to carry a lot more weight than dads in court. I’m not sure that they would take your kids’ views into account yet (I think they have to be teenagers). Just another thing to think about. I can understand you’re getting fed up with your ex being so close by, but I wonder if it is only that that is stopping you moving forward. If you move then you will have total care of your kids and it will be just as hard, if not harder, to socialise and meet someone else. Could your ex have the children at her house sometimes in the evenings so you have a little more independence? Failing that, there’s probably some kind of babysitting circle about, or plenty of teenagers looking for extra pocket money.

  7. I appreciate how hurt you must feel seeing your x but your children benefit greatly from the current arrangement and it would be well worth hanging on in there for a while. As the resident parent the downside is that it is more difficult to move on with your life because of your commitments. The upside is that you have the privilege of the children living with you. As the pain lessens you will be in a better position to decide the future. In the meantime try to effect changes that would make the present situation work for you. It’s not easy!

  8. I think everyone has said it all here. Like everyone else I think you have so far done absolutely the right thing and just keep doing it. One more thing thought Mike… I think you should take pride in what you are so far doing for your kids. They get to live with one parent and see the other one all the time. It sounds like the perfect scenario for them. Of course you will find it hard having to see her all the time… but is this not a small price to pay for the best upbringing your children can be afforded.? Just make sure you keep it your problem and never let it show to them. Oh and definitely don’t give them a problem so as to reduce your own. Whatever you do do Mike don’t go giving your ex the will to chase residence. What the kids have got is a good thing. Lets keep it that way. Maybe when you are feeling particularly hard done by… you could smile inwardly knowing that you are giving them a great start in life.

  9. What a good bunch you all are. Thanks very much (and I mean it most sincerely folks) for al the kind words and good advice. I definitely won’t do anything rash, and would never do anything that would put my own wishes ahead of the kids – and it sounds like the consensus of opinion is that moving away so that they only see their mother at weekends would do them more harm than good, I’ll have to have a serious think about where to move, as the commute really is killing me, but I think I’ll have to keep the current deal going at least for another twelve months or so and then perhaps re-assess again. Thanks Mike


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