So, I’m living with my ex and my mother-in-law…

So, I’m living with my ex and my mother-in-law…

I live with my ex, our two beautiful kids and my mother in law. We recently split after 12 years of a not perfect relationship, but one which I considered loving and committed. Then, 18 months ago, her mom moved in with us with big plans for her business. Things sputtered. My ex works with her mom and three way arguments ensued.  Then I landed a new job that pays more but meant less time with the family. My wife complained but soon enjoyed some free time as her mother helped watch the kids.

Soon though, she was hanging out with old friends and going out of her way to not ever invite me along. After two months of me working seven-day weeks, she picked me up one night and said that there was stuff she couldn’t tell me and that we needed to break up. A day later she said she had a boyfriend whom she loved. Now three months later, after many arguments and total awareness of a need for separation nothing has changed. We all still live together, my ex and mother-in-law are not getting work to supplement our living costs, and I can’t save or afford anything because all my resources go towards the house and kids.

I’m accepting of my faults and shortcomings and still love my partner very much. I give her as much space as she needs with her new relationship. Problem is she still goes out saying she’ll be home and then never returns. I am left getting the kids to school. Question is, is it wrong of me to request that she create a schedule so I have adequate time to prepare things when she needs to leave the family? Ray

Ray, that can’t be your question. Please, tell me that’s not your question, about your ex creating a domestic schedule so she can go hang with her new boyfriend while you hold the fort. Your question should be, what the HELL do I do about this bizarre situation I’ve found myself in where I’m living with my ex and my mother-in-law, funding their lifestyles and burgeoning business plans and working like a dog to pay for everything in order to keep a roof over all of our heads?

I understand you’re heartbroken and probably hoping your wife will dump her boyfriend, come to her senses and tell you she doesn’t want to separate after all. But it might not happen. And in the event it doesn’t happen, you need to start thinking seriously about an alternate future for you and your kids. Where you’ll live. Custody arrangements. Selling the house, maybe.

You probably need to instigate a whole new conversation about separation with your wife. Only this time, I’d suggest doing it in a lawyer’s office.

Love, reality chick

Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).


  1. Lisa 6 years ago

    Whoa, Ray! Listen to RC here. Ask the right questions. Get some sense of self again. This is a horrible situation and you have bent all you need to.

    • Author

      Right on Lisa. The painful things people do to one another never fail to astound me, even though I read stories like this all the time.

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