Staying Friends With Your Ex For The Sake Of The Kids - Possible?

Staying Friends For The Sake Of The Kids
3 February 2016

Call me weird, but I think Gwyneth Paltrow is nothing short of brilliant for the way she's spoken about her relationship with Chris Martin, the father of her children and (presumably?) soon-to-be ex-husband.

In a magazine interview she said:

"Last night he got in at midnight and slept here so he could surprise the kids in the morning, we could all have breakfast, and he could take them to school. So … we're not living together, but he's more than welcome to be with us whenever he wants. And vice versa: I sleep in his house in Malibu a lot with the kids. We're still very much a family, even though we don't have a romantic relationship. He's like my brother."

Now don't get me wrong; I get that there'll be those who roll their eyes at this and think describing the father of your children as 'like a brother' is a little odd.

But surely what she's really saying is that the ex-couple have worked it out amicably for the sake of the kids, and I think that's pretty amazing.

I know - from speaking to friends who have separated from their child's other parent - that staying friends with your ex for the sake of the kids is far from easy.

And of course what Gwyneth doesn't say is how that amicable relationship plays out when either partner meets someone new, and wants to introduce him or her to the kids. That's got to add another dynamic to the relationship that has the potential to get pretty difficult to deal with.

Few of us go into parenthood anticipating that our relationship might not stay the course, which means those of us who end up in that situation are rarely prepared for how to deal with it. And when a relationship breaks down because of a betrayal or other painful turn of events, it's of course completely natural that staying friends just might not be an option.

So while I don't believe there's any 'one size fits all' approach to dealing with relationship breakdown when kids are involved, I still think the couples who manage to keep things civil - to the kids' benefit, ultimately - deserve some serious props.

But what do you think? Is it possible to make like Gwyneth and Chris and enjoy an amicable, dare I say brotherly/sisterly relationship for the sake of the kids after a break-up? Or do you think that's an unrealistic expectation? If you've cracked it, we'd love to hear your tips for keeping things friendly with your ex for the sake of the children.

TOPICS:   Parents

3 comments

  • Pip72

    I always find it odd that the person that was once the only love of your life suddenly becomes the Anti-Christ! My ex and i get on fine, we simply changed and recognised we were no longer being the couple we wanted to be. The worst part is explaining to others that no she's not evil, yes we get on fine - it is a sad expectation. We have both remarried and our son now has 2 familys to look after him!

  • Vari

    Myself and my ex partner are like best friends. He comes round to my new house almost daily, eats with us, baths our two kids and helps put them to bed. He also fitted my carpets and helped me decorate my new home. Every other weekend i look after his two older lads whilst he goes to work and all six of us go out for dinner and family days out and occasionally he stays over in my spare room. Our children have not been affected by our split which was two years ago now. We are still very much a family but mum and dad have a different kind of relationship than before. We are all very happy with the way things are now. When we all lived together it was more damaging for our children to live in that that situation than it is now.

  • admin EDITOR

    Some lovely stories there guys, nice to know it is possible! Thanks for sharing x

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