I don’t feel I can move in with my new partner until he and my ex meet as it’s setting a weird example for the children. In general, my ex and I get on well, we share custody, and he comes to the house to pick them up/drop them off, etc.
I want him to seek counseling over this issue and have offered to go with him, but he refuses. What can I do?! — Not His Wife Anymore
Well, you certainly can’t force an ex-husband to go to therapy. What you can do is tell your ex that his unwillingness to meet the man who will essentially be a (step)father-type figure in your children’s life is a threat to the healthy co-parent relationship you have worked to create, as well as a threat to his custody share because you can’t trust him to keep his kids’ best interest at heart if he can’t bring himself to meet the person who will likely be present when the two of you pick-up and drop-off your kids. I mean, what is he going to do — refuse to come into your home when he drops off his kids because he won’t see your boyfriend? Would he compromise his kids’ safety because his fragile ego can’t handle seeing his ex-wife in the company of her boyfriend?
It’s one thing to make you pay for leaving him, but to put his kids in the middle of this, which is what he’s doing when he refuses to meet your boyfriend, is another thing altogether and it definitely warrants a meeting with a family attorney to discuss your rights. Hopefully, just the threat of jeopardizing your custody arrangement will be enough to scare your ex into manning up and acting like a goddamn adult.
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