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Discussion Starter #1
I have reached my end point of patience with this woman. I have made it very clear that I will not allow her to teach my children that adultery is okay. I have told her that the relationship with the OM will NOT take place in front of our children while we are still married and that if it does, I will seek sole custody. That went over like a lead balloon. The response:

I HATE YOU WITH A PASSION AND NEVER WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN. And my favorite, I WISH YOU WOULD JUST DIE! Not to mention the YOUR JUST A JEALOUS POS WHO CAN'T JUST LET ME BE HAPPY! Of course it's good riddance to me. My kids on the other hand can't stand the high conflict. Thankfully we don't live together. We do, unfortunately, have to have contact about the kids. I am not jealous, I don't care at this point what she does on her own or what she does when we are finally divorced but when the kids are involved and while we are still married, I demand the proper example for them be set. Parents should do this for their children. Thoughts?
 

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yes I agree, but the unfortunate part is you can't control what she does. Threatening sole custody is a 100% guarantee to start a fight. Only thing you can really do is focus on the things you can control.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I agree. I don't want to control her at all. What she does on her own without the kids is her business. I am just concerned with the example that is set for my children. I don't want them to see that adultery is okay. I know kids are smart and can figure out what their mom is doing is wrong but it's better for them to just have no relationship with her as long as she persists in this behavior, IMHO. I know some will disagree. The real question I suppose is how do you deal with an adulterous parent to minimize the effect on the children?
 

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Not sure I agree with you.

You and STBXW are living in separate homes, yes?
And your divorce is well on its way to finality, yes?

Given that the above are true, I'm not necessarily seeing your STBXW as the villain here because she is having a sexual relationship with someone and your divorce is not 'final'.

IF the relationship began BEFORE the divorce proceedings (or was the CAUSE of the divorce proceedings), then I'm in YOUR court. She should have enough respect for your feelings (that have been hurt enough) not to flaunt her affair in your children's face.

IF the physical separation and filing for divorce has taken place less than 6 months ago, then I'm in YOUR court (depending on the ages of the children, and how they're taking the divorce.)

IF the physical separation and filing for divorce has taken place MORE THAN 6 months ago, then I'M in HER court. The marriage is over, there is no resuscitating it. The fact that these legal proceedings can be dragged out for years (literally) should NOT preclude one spouse or the other from moving on with his/her life.

Why is it "wrong" for her to have sex with someone else when your marriage relationship is over? Your marriage is dead, you're just waiting for the coroner to pronounce TOD (the judge to make his/her ruling.) Is it a religious thing? If so, are you THIS adamant about fornicating (having sex with someone while you're UNMARRIED...were you and she engaging in sexual behavior BEFORE your marriage, if so, you're being hypocritical; if not, then I assume it's part of your religious/moral belief system. That's fine, but YOU don't get to decide what HER religious/moral belief system is.)

You're obviously not going to change her mind. You can merely point out to the children that you and their mother disagree on certain matters. No need to throw her under the bus, she's still their mother! And IF this is a religious issue with you, does your religion believe it's better that these children have "NO RELATIONSHIP" with their mother until she agrees to YOUR rules for her behavior? If your religion believes this, then you need to approach your STBXW in this vein - that you both agreed to raise the children in this religion, and her current behavior is confusing to them (depending on their ages) because it flies in the face of the religion's tenets.

If this is just YOU being angry because YOU believe it is a "sin", then YOU need to get over it. YOU don't get to tell anyone else (including the mother of your children) how to act!! You can make requests, you can attempt to explain in an adult manner, but YOU DON'T GET TO DEMAND anything from another adult.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
@Mavash, I don't agree with that. If what you are saying is correct then there is no such thing as cheating as all WSs would declare themselves "separated" and there would be no need for this web site. When you are married, you are married, period. You are NOT free to date until your "bonds of matrimony" are dissolved in divorce. If a spouse wants to "date" then they should be divorced and not married. That is not the topic, so moving on.

@slowlygettingwiser - We are about the six month point. Here in VA for an uncontested divorce you have to live separate and apart for a year with children. Contested divorces here are VERY expensive (about $10K per side) and are best avoided. My position and question is based solely on the best interest of the children. Is it better for the children to see their mother, while still married, openly committing adultery? This leads the children to believe that behavior is okay. That is not in their best interest.

OR

Is it better for me to turn the other cheek and just not voice and objection or attempt to shield the children from this clearly destructive behavior until the divorce is finalized when it becomes a moot point. Here, being a fault state, I would be well within my rights to ask for sole custody with supervised visitation pending the final divorce.

Again, I am not here to debate power, control, who can tell who what to do, etc. Just looking at things from the best interest of the child perspective.
 

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I applaud you sticking to your morals but unfortunately there's not a court in the US who gives a rat's ass about a separated spouse having a boyfriend. They don't make adultery while living together a factor in custody so why should they make it a factor after you have physically separated and filed?
I have been in your shoes only the woman was a close friend of mine. I know where you are coming from. Maybe I am seeing too much of myself in you but I detect or suspect that your moral outrage is partly colored by anger that she found someone else.
Yes you have a right to be angry, you have the right to not want your children to be with another man and to hear about them playing family while you are alone. I've been there and it is horrible.
Unfortunately that isn't something that the courts take into account. Now if I were you I would do a back ground check on the guy. If he has a criminal record or something you might be able to get an order to have him stay away from the kids.
I know you are hurting, I'm sorry.
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Here, being a fault state, I would be well within my rights to ask for sole custody with supervised visitation pending the final divorce.

Are you sure? If you really believe that, talk to an attorney. See what they say.
My advice to you is to stop talking and start doing. Don't tell her what you want her to do anymore because obviously she doesn't want to hear it.
One of the hardest things for me is realizing I have no control over the choices my ex makes with my daughter and how little support the state offers. Unless the parent is physically abusive or doing heroin they won't do anything.
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Is it better for me to turn the other cheek and just not voice and objection or attempt to shield the children from this clearly destructive behavior until the divorce is finalized when it becomes a moot point. Here, being a fault state, I would be well within my rights to ask for sole custody with supervised visitation pending the final divorce.
turn the other cheek is really the only choice you have. I'm sure in the children's eyes, they don't see it like you do. You guys are not together, and a piece of paper isn't going to change what they think or what they may be going through. You are not together as far as they are concerned.
 

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I agree. I don't want to control her at all. What she does on her own without the kids is her business. I am just concerned with the example that is set for my children. I don't want them to see that adultery is okay. I know kids are smart and can figure out what their mom is doing is wrong but it's better for them to just have no relationship with her as long as she persists in this behavior, IMHO. I know some will disagree. The real question I suppose is how do you deal with an adulterous parent to minimize the effect on the children?
You may find an attorney advises you to get a paramour clause put in, either to a pre-divorce agreement or you could even have one in your divorce settlement. However they are practically unenforceable, but they do give some leverage. The thing is, how would she feel if you brought a step mom in right now.
 

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VA:

1. How old are the children
2. What are their genders (do they identify w/mom or dad)
3. Did you to have ongoing marital problems that the children could identify (anger, depression, fighting, withdrawal) or was this divorce a complete surprise to everyone (except your wife)?

I think these would give us a better sense of what would actually be in the best interest of your children (considering we don't actually know them).
 

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I really think you're barking up the wrong tree. I can't say for sure in VA, but I doubt you will be able to use infidelity alone to seek sole custody. You will have to show that her affair is somehow detrimental to the kids. Not sure how you would go about doing that. Divorce, separation and infidelity have become so commonplace there is rarely an eyebrow raised when they occur.

Also consider that taking such action may cause long-term damage to your relationship with your kids. They don't necessarily share your POV on the marriage. They may identify with your wife over you. An attempt to restrict their time with mom could be seen as confirmation that dad is all sorts of bad things. Especially if your wife is the type to denigrate you to the kids.

Are you sure that the bad example for your kids is the only reason you are having such a visceral reaction? I can't help but feel that you personally can't accept that she is dating while you are technically still married. It's over, right? Let it go. I would suggest you put more effort into improving the post-divorce relationship with your wife. It will be monumentally harder on your kids if the two of you are adversaries than if you can find some common ground.

Good luck with your struggle.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
All,
Thank you for your replies. To answer the questions:

@slowlygettingwiser - The children are 5(6 on Monday!), 11, and 14 and are all girls. My oldest is in mom's corner but we have a good relationship, and the middle is in my corner (typical I guess when parents split for them to take sides). Of course the youngest is too little to really know what is going on but she takes to me better than mom. We did have ongoing marital problems pre-separation. The divorce wasn't overall a surprise as I moved out with the kids due to DV on her part (2 arrests and 2 convictions). She is taking court ordered DV classes, is on probation for 2 years, but has stopped drinking alcohol (sober almost 60 days). Her judgement isn't always the best, part of my concern.

@that girl - Email and text is the way to go, totally agree. Text for the routine day to day stuff and email for the more legnthy detailed stuff (long term skeds, etc). It creates a "paper trail" so there is no doubt that a communication occured and the contents of the commuication are documented.

@zookeeper - I have thought about the long term consequences. I do agree that a good relationship between us going forward is preferred. That is tough to maintain due to her anger at being arrested for DV. She can't get over that. Our kids witnessed the DV and that is why she got arrested instead of me. She expects me to pay for her court classes and her bail bonds (yeah right). As for her dating, it was hard to accept at first but when I thought about it for awhile I had to ask myself, "Would I want someone like that back?" and the answer was a resounding NO until she gets herself into MAJOR counseling and gets herself right. My issue is truly with the children and their well-being.

She is also mentally not stable, diagnosed with both bi-polar and BPD (docs can't agree to which it is). The rush into a new relationship, her doctor says, is to quell the fear of being alone and abandonment she suffered when her father left her as a child and was mostly uninvolved in her life.
 

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Okay, 14yo is going to be most affected (by the whole 'Mom having sex with some guy' thing), but as she is already aware and already in mom's corner...don't see that as a problem. She is SO not going to take to your 'I'm ripping the kids away from you because you're a bad influence living in sin' scenario. She's gong to see YOU as the ETERNAL bad guy for kicking her mother when she's already down.

Your 14yo already suspects that mom hopping on the 'I've got a boyfriend' bandwagon is a bad idea, but she's trying to be supportive. As the oldest, she feels responsible for her mom.

Your 11yo is BARELY aware of sex. If your schools are anything like ours, they only had sex-ed for your daughter LAST YEAR. Very basic, very biologically-oriented. She doesn't want to think about it and will avoid the WHOLE idea. To her, having a boyfriend is about holding hands, kissing (yech!), and going places on 'dates'. She is NOT wise to what your STBXW is up to...unless your STBXW just can't keep her mouth shut?!?

Your 6yo, basically indifferent to the whole boyfriend scenario I would assume. Not sure what it means, not sure how adult world works anyway. I'm guessing she'll go with the flow.

If you don't want your 14yo to HATE you. If you don't want the 14yo and the 11yo to square off AGAINST EACH OTHER, then DO NOT MAKE THEM CHOOSE (staying with a 'sinning' mom in their house OR going with a 'righteous' dad to his house). NOBODY is going to win that one...including you.

Just my opinion as a 55-yo woman (with a 15yo daughter) who left her H of 19yrs earlier this year....for what it's worth.
 

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Don't the court have some say when it comes to moral clause and thing that effect the kids?

Can't you talk to a lawyer and get a judgment that keeps the OM way from the kids until there older or after the divorce?

Have you done a backround chech on OM? It may help your cause, especially if he has a felony!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
@slowlygettingwiser - You are correct about sex ed here. Very basic and last year boys and girls were separated. This year, I believe, they are taught together in the same class. I hear what you are saying about my 14 year old. Mom is her friend while I am her parent. That scenario is going on. I am tough on her and mom lets her do whatever. Naturally a teen with separated parents will gravitate toward the one who gives her max personal freedom with minimal work. Human nature at its finest. My middle daughter is very discliplined, a straight A student, and sees what mom is doing as stupid without any input from me. She is very smart. Not sure what her knowlegde of sex is but she understands what mom is doing is wrong and lets her know that from time to time. Oldest doesn't want to lose the "friend" status so goes along with mom so she can get what she wants. Of course, youngest is truly indifferent but is a discipline problem for mom but an angel for me (most of the time).

@the guy - I have checked him out. 25 years old (EX is 35 BTW). He is pretty harmless(no criminal activity) but has no college education and works for minimum wage with no educational prospects and no intentions or plans to better himself (yes, chatty ex provides the details, and frustration at his lack of drive). Morality clauses can be inserted to prevent overnight stays in the home with children present and to prevent public displays of affection. The no overnight is pretty easy to enforce but I don't want to resort to being a keystone cop. I am active duty military and don't have the time or desire to do that.

Overall she has fought with him (broke up and back together five times in five months) in front of the children just like she did with us. She has had sex with him with children in the house as well. This is not okay to me. In addition, although the OM is criminally harmless, his judgement and integrity are in question for getting involved with a woman who is married.
 

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I wouldn't be considering custody because an estranged spouse was dating, but I would be considering it if the children were living with a mother who had previously been arrested for DV was fighting with her new partner in front of the children. This would concern me far more deeply...
 

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First and foremost, she is a grown adult. She has a right to do what she wants now that you all are not together anymore. On moral grounds, you might have a case, but it is worthless in Family Court.

We did have ongoing marital problems pre-separation. The divorce wasn't overall a surprise as I moved out with the kids due to DV on her part (2 arrests and 2 convictions). She is taking court ordered DV classes, is on probation for 2 years, but has stopped drinking alcohol (sober almost 60 days).
If you want custody of your children, the DV will get you a lot more traction towards custody of your children than claims of infidelity or moral terpitude. With two convictions you have an excellent chance of being the primary custodian or possibly sole depending on what other evidence you bring.


Email and text is the way to go, totally agree. Text for the routine day to day stuff and email for the more legnthy detailed stuff (long term skeds, etc). It creates a "paper trail" so there is no doubt that a communication occured and the contents of the commuication are documented.
Keep doing this to build your case. Avoid the telephone. always bring a witness to exchanges of the children.

I do agree that a good relationship between us going forward is preferred. That is tough to maintain due to her anger at being arrested for DV. She can't get over that.
A good relationship is key and part of that is stop trying to tell her what to do. Odds are she will be pissed for a long time, I know I would if I were arrested. She may never stop being angry.

Let her live her life and continue your documentation. Be the Super Dad and take the high road. Give your children an example to live by. As they get older they will be able to determine for themselves who is right or wrong.

My issue is truly with the children and their well-being.
As it should be. Take the proper actions now to protect them.
 

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Most people agree that you cannot control your ex-life, with one exception. You will find a lawyer who will sympathize with you and profess to be shocked at her behavior. She was with another man, when you have children, that's shocking, give me more money, he came over when the children were there, I am appalled, give me more money the lawyer says.

Assuming the marriage is over, it is hard but you have to make a transition to the next step, which is co-parenting during and after divorce. And no, don't put your children in the middle of this crap and ask them to take sides. And don't tell your lawyer how much money you have, you sound like the perfect candidate for that's how much the divorce will cost, plus more, (how about a second mortgage on your home, I am so sorry that your ex-wife has caused me to buy the new Mercedes and get a vacation condo in South France).
 
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