My Ex Is Living With Us, I’m Scared We Will Get Back Together, Help!

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"I just ended a relationship after almost 7 years. I've known him since elementary school 20 years ago. We have 2 kids together. Long story short, great dad, good guy, terrible partner. Could not hold a job, lying about even small things,, helping around the house was like pulling teeth, and he woke with a crappy attitude daily. Everything is in my name the house I bought last year... he wasn't working, both vehicles I financed alone, all the utility bills, etc. I finally told him to go, take the car, the phone, I'll continue to pay insurance cause I will need help with the kids. He has been staying at the house the last week, to help with kids. The closest relative he has is an hour drive away, until he gets a job he can't afford gas money to go back and forth. We got back into a routine and I am scared we will just end up getting back together and he will fall into his former ways. He claims he has a job but is waiting for HR docs to process. Help! How do I stay strong for me and my kids. I don't want to hurt them, but I need happiness too.."

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The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

"You just have to stay strong. Remember why you guys broke up. Hopefully he’s being truthful about the job and after a little bit of saving up he’ll be on his own. If he does try and get comfy I would talk to him though, you need to make sure to set your foot down. It’s already way more then enough that you continue to pay the car and phone bill for him."

"Nooooo. You see all the red flags. Yes, your kids need to see mom and dad thriving. But being in a toxic romantic relationship will hurt more than it will help. Their dad or not. You need to set the example for their future relationship with their future partners. If they see mom doing it, they’ll think it’s what’s supposed to happen. Staying strong for them means setting boundaries of what is and what’s not appropriate. You got this mama!"

"Don’t share a bed or bedroom. Give him a deadline to have a job and move out. You are only a doormat as long as you allow."

"Why would you fall back into relationship if he hasn’t changed anything? The same reasons you ended it are right in front of you. If anything, it should be a confirmation that you made the right choice."

"Ex’s are ex’s for a reason…remember and stay strong!"

"If you really do need the help with the kids and that’s the only reason he is there then you need to set ground rules.

  1. He sleeps in a spare bedroom or on the couch.
  2. You have a list of chores and he needs to complete them daily or he needs to leave.
  3. We are not getting back together. Period. So don’t get confused.
  4. This is my house not “our” house."

"Make sure you sleep and sit in different rooms or on another couch. Go out do things that you want to do let him see your truly moving on. He can watch his own kids while you go out and take time for you. My experience is if you don’t act like you’ve moved on and you continue the same stuff as if you are together he won’t get it. Just saying don’t work you gotta show him plus it will help you as well"

"Doesn’t he have any friends nearby where he can couch surf? Do y’all have friends who would at least shelter him for two weeks? Can’t he go to a shelter if he has no place else to go? Or how about picking up gas money for a month so he can live with his relatives? Talk to a counselor, women’s center, friends, and—good for you—people on this forum to bolster your resolve. Read books and articles to confirm your decision to end things. Talk to a lawyer. Have your questions ready in case you’re paying by the 15-minute increments. Don’t chit-chat no matter how friendly they are. Find out the best ways to extricate yourself from all the things you’ve paying for him. Once he has to support himself he may have to learn to be more responsible. Suggest he get counseling to help him deal with the problems a job entails so he can have a steady income & better work history, but he is not your problem to fix. Would you want your children to become charming deadbeats? No? Show them that behavior is not acceptable"

"Try talking to your son about it. Maybe he’d like to be a big brother. I’ve felt the same way I think I’ve decided I don’t want more kids but my son tells me once and a while that he wishes he was a big brother and I genuinely think he would be an amazing big brother. He started telling me when he was almost 2 he wanted me to have another baby"

"Don’t talk to him or do anything with him that isn’t in direct benefit of the children. Don’t spend ANY alone time together. The kids are you only connection, and no manipulating the situation in your head to make it benefit the kids. Either it does or it doesn’t. That’s how you keep from either of you getting reattached. Absolutely no bonding time whatsoever.."

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