Dating my ex-husband for the sake of my son is stressful

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Dear troubleshooter:

Dear troubleshooter:

I am a company employee in my thirties. I worry about my relationship with my ex-husband, whom I divorced two years ago. I am now raising a 2-year-old boy on my own, while working fewer hours.

My relationship with my ex-husband was strained right after our divorce. However, we are now on good terms after seeing him several times with my son, so we go out and eat together, sometimes even with his parents. But since I usually take care of childcare on my own, I think my ex-husband and his parents, who only need to look after my son when they meet him, claim the best of having a child without having to face any hard work.

It’s true that my son’s exchanges with his father help me in a certain way because I can have my time when they meet. However, once my ex-husband and I get new partners, I don’t think we can continue our current relationship.

I told myself that these meetings are important for my child, but I am worried. I don’t know how long we can go on like this. I’m so worried that I can’t sleep unless I drink.

— A, Iwate Prefecture

Dear Mrs A:

After a divorce, it is natural to want your children to always feel loved by both parents. This is what gives meaning to regular and continuous exchanges between one’s children and an ex-spouse. Depending on the reasons for the divorce and the situation of the ex-spouse, such interactions can have a physical and mental impact on the children. But fortunately in your case, the exchanges with your ex-husband and his family went well. It is something to be grateful for.

It is certain that your life and that of your husband will change in the future. The form and frequency of father-son exchanges may change as a result, but it is important to pursue them better for the good of your child. The Ministry of Justice provides information on its website about private organizations that facilitate communication between children and their divorced parents. Why not take a look at it for future reference? Having a place you can trust and consult could give you peace of mind.

Even if your ex-husband and people on his side seem to be getting the most out of having a child, they might envy you since you can be with the child all the time. You also said you can have your own time when they meet. Try to be happy now instead of worrying about the future. And please take good care of yourself for the sake of your child.

— Masami Ohinata, University President

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