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New relationship while separated, very complicated landscape.

Mr K
Community Member

Sometimes you just have no control over timing and for me I've fallen for a wonderful woman pre divorce. My relationship with my ex is over and we are currently co-parenting 50/50 our two little girls. Since separating I've met and begun a relationship with another woman. Although the timing isn't ideal I really feel that we are meant to be together and share many common interests. She is a single mother to one child and is self sufficient, intelligent and very caring. Obviously this year has been a challenging one for more than one reason but my new relationship has been extremely rewarding and I really want this to work out. I don't want to upset my children or my immediate family so to this point my new relationship has been very much a secret from them. This is very different to my new partner as she has been very upfront and honest with her own family. I don't know how to begin the transition, how to tell my family, how to introduce the kids? I'm terrified that my extended family who I'm heavily relying on for childcare and assistance with drop off/ pickups will withdraw that help when they find out. I'm really genuinely trying to do the right thing for us all and just for once including myself (I want to be happy too). I know in an ideal world I should have waited for my divorce to be finalised but you just can't help when and who you fall in love. So to be very clear:

  • I share care of my own beautiful kids 50/50 and they are my world.
  • I share 50/50 costs of our old family home (MY ex still lives there).
  • I pay the child support im asked for every time
  • I'm renting a unit owned by my Mother in Law (At this stage we still have a good relationship)
  • I rely heavily on assistance from my ex wife's Aunt (We have at this stage a good relationship)

What should I do now? How do I go about making this right/work so that we can all move forward?

5 Replies 5

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi MrK,

Welcome to the forums 👋,

I’m so glad that you’ve found someone who you get on so well with. You sound like a very loving and responsible father and I commend you on navigating things so well up until this point. Realistically we can’t control when people we have a connection with come into our lives, particularly when separated. But I can appreciate that this puts you in a somewhat tricky position, balancing the desire to keep the good vibes and assistance going with your extended family but also not wanting to hurt your new partners feelings and integrate her more into your life and demonstrate your commitment to her and the relationship.Have you spoken with your new partner and explained the situation? If so, how has she taken it to this point? Reasonably, or is she starting to question things? I only ask because even the best of us can read the wrong things into situations at times, and wanted to see if this was placing additional pressure on you. How long have you two been together now?

Mr K
Community Member

Hi, nobody knows about the relationship at this point other than my new partners family who know everything. I'm somewhat intimidated by my ex who I suspect will resent the fact that I have been able to get on with my life in-spite of her not wanting to be part of it (other than financial and child care needs).

There are so many stories out there of fathers who have been denied access to their kids by bitter exes and I really just want us all to be able to move forward and get on with our lives.


Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear K~

Things don't always happen when we want and you are in an awkward situation, however I'm not sure all would go against you when the separation goes though.

You are demonstrating a very responsible attitude to your kids, paying half the home and giving child support too.

A big issue is what the kids want.

While it can come down to the most experienced lawyer in some cased maybe there is room to move.

Getting on well with your MIL and ex's Aunt are not only practical arrangements, but demonstrate your nature and at the same time may produce allies, most family knows what a particular person is like.

Perhaps if you eased into the position where your MIL and ex's Aunt could see that you needed another mate then when the time came to announce your new family they may be less adverse than you imagine.

Remember you are not doing this all by yourself. You are growing towards a new partner and that means someone to have ideas and share the load.


Mr K
Community Member

My new partner is extremely supportive in-spite of her own understandable frustration by how complicated the setting is.

It would be amazing to have someone to share the ups and downs of life with and I want to model happy and loving behavior to my little girls, something they would not have seen between their mother and I. Now that I'm able to review my past. With the benefit of space to think and hindsight, I can see that I was on auto-pilot for most of it (Literally years) and simply existing. The little girls were loved but they did not see a loving relationship between their parents. I'm not seeking to lessen the contact the girls have with their Mother and I will support the shared care arrangement but I wan't to move forward. I fall into that category of people who want to cause no harm to anyone and this has left me indecisive and prone to bend to the will of my ex partner over the years but that was very much to my determinant. I'm genuinely excited for a new future but the potential pitfalls on the way seem terrifying.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear K

You are very fortunate to have found someone so supportive and caring, and no doubt that has helped you contrast this with how you were living before.

Yes separation and children are a terrifying prospect for anyone that loves their kids.

Your original question was "what shall I do now?"

I can't say stay or separate, that is your decision, all I can say is if you decide to separate them trying for the most amicable arrangement is the obvious way to go and having allies -MIL & ex-aunt may be of help, particularly if you do not rush things and use your judgment about when to tell them of your new arrangements.

I would hope that at least your MIL would see the advantages of sharing the children.

So what do you think?