This is why it is so important to be honest right from the beginning. That way, if there are growing pains and adjustments on both your parts, you work on them before you move in together and subject the children to additional chaos. If it boils down to you not able to accept the parental interaction, you don’t go forward.
I know that sounds quite cut and dry. If you love someone, you don’t want to walk away. But if you don’t agree with their basic philosophy of life — in this case, how they co-parent their children — that’s a huge hurdle to jump.
The reason I am taking this tact is because of something you said in your email. “Every time there is the slightest issue with the kids.” That’s the key, right there. They aren’t making coffee dates. They are talking about the kids. And, if you live there, you have a huge influence on the kids as well. You and your husband may even have children of your own eventually who will be their brothers or sisters, and it will be essential to coordinate efforts. Knowing this, don’t exclude yourself. This is a team effort.
You have taken on quite a responsibility marrying someone with children who actively co-parents. Don’t give up yet. You may have to work with a professional to help you better understand your part in all of it, but at face value, it sounds like he’s doing what’s necessary to raise children after a breakup. That’s good ex-etiquette.
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Dr. Jann Blackstone is the author of “Ex-etiquette for Parents: Good Behavior After Divorce or Separation,” and the founder of Bonus Families, bonusfamilies.com. Email her at the Ex-Etiquette website exetiquette.com at firstname.lastname@example.org.