How much contact from the ex is too much? We have 2 kids together

*** Updated post *** We are divorced. Sorry to use the incorrect wording. My ex and I have been separated for almost a year and a half. I have two children (6 & 4) with my ex. I am now engaged to another woman, who doesn’t have any children.

My ex still contacts me on a daily basis, even though I’ve tried to get her to reduce it. My fiance is having a problem with the amount of texts/emails coming from the ex. It’s starting to affect my new relationship. I’m stuck because I want it to be amicable, but I also want her to chill out on the contact. How do I get her to stop & how do I get my fiance to relax?

In light of your update…Ok, well, what are her communications with you about? Is she updating you daily on the child trying to keep you involved and informed? or is she asking for your help/advice with things not related to the child? Or is she doing a mixture of both using a the child as a segue into talking about something else…more trying to hold onto your relationship than just being a co-parent? How you handle it depends on what exactly she is calling/emailing and texting about…so can you elaborate a bit? (btw, you don’t have to update your post to answer, you can just post an answer like we do with more information - kinda like an ongoing conversation)

When you say you have been separated for a year and a half, I’m going to assume you actually got divorced somewhere in there, otherwise you wouldn’t be engaged.There’s a reason that makes a difference: If you are still working with a temporary custody agreement, and working through a settlement, it makes sense that you might need a little more contact. If you have a final decree, and a set schedule for visitation, your ex should not need to contact you more than a couple times a week. Of course, if your kids want to talk to you every night before bed, that’s a separate thing.The way to handle it is to keep the communication businesslike. Don’t respond to texts unless there is a particular, urgent question regarding the welfare of the children. And don’t answer the phone unless you are expecting your children to call. Let her leave a message and if its urgent you call back.As to emails, the same applies. Only respond when necessary, and keep your replies businesslike and only about the children.Your fiancee doesn’t have kids, so it’s going to be harder for her to understand that you have a co-parent in your life, for the rest of your life. If your ex is being chatty, that’s a problem, but if it’s just routine info about the kids, and she’s in the habit of sending a quick text to update you (so she doesn’t forget) then your fiancee doesn’t really have much to complain about.

I’m with sarthur on this…you former life just does not go away. You’ll always have parents, for instance…is your fiancee’ expecting them to disappear, too?Now for my take. Your ex is overly dependent. Stick to the decree and remain business like. It seems to me that your ex is getting a bit of her jollies from ‘over-contacting’ you. It’s one thing to keep you up to date, but every day a couple of times a day is way too much. Everyday is even too much in my department. How about ‘as needed’ and more to 3-4 times a week?Your fiancee’ is getting a small taste of what she can expect when she marries a man with an ex and 2 small kids. It is NOT easy. If she’s balking now, it will only be worse once you’re married. Trust me.You both need to discuss this seriously and honestly. One of the main reasons second marriages with kids end up not working out is the presence of the kids and the ex.

When I met my husband, his ex wife (they had been divorced for three years at that point), used to call him daily. She very rarely shared things of use about their two children. More often than not, she was calling him to either complain about how hard her life was, to tell him he was a terrible person, or just to have someone to talk to. I should add that she was already remarried at this time. Early on in our relationship, I pointed out to him that he still essentially had the same relationship with her that he had when they were married and he agreed with me on that point. I told him that I wasn’t interested in being in a relationship with someone who was still in an emotional relationship (even if it was a negative one) with another woman. At that point, he cut off most communication with her really fast. As further backstory, she was abusive to him during their marriage and her communication was just another way to continue the abuse. Many counselors would say that if you feel the need to be in contact daily, you haven’t moved on from the relationship, so it seems like your ex wife has not totally moved on. You’re divorced, so you have to give one another emotional space to move on from the romantic relationship between the two of you. As someone who’s gone through breakups without children, I know that the only way I moved on was when I stopped trying to be “friends” with the guy I had broken up with. I know it gets messy with children, but keeping up the same emotional habits with an ex doesn’t allow people to move on. If you’re divorced, presumably, you both wanted the relationship to end and you both have to let it end and enter into a new relationship that is just about parenting your children. Also, if you want your new relationship to work, you have to make sure that you are not playing the role of emotional outlet for your ex wife, because that’s emotional energy you should be giving to your fiancée. My advice to you would be to not respond to anything from your ex wife that does not involve your children and keep your responses to anything about your children, completely transactional.

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