Scheduling and cohabitation agreement?
Hi everyone, sorry I have been out of the loop a little. I was out of town for my son's birthday. To all of you, I thank again and again. You are making my life so much easier, which I know people say all the time. But I really mean it. As far as I know, this is the only life I get and when someone (you dont even KNOW) makes the most important parts of that life easier, by taking time out of theirs to share thing that are sometimes, hard to type, heavy and life altering moments, again, hope in humanity restored.
Okay, now that I feel like I have hopefully appropriately expressed my gratitude, I find myself asking again, for advice! :)
So my primary and I are moving in together, (we have a six year old son) and we want to come up with some sort of schedule. I realize this will change, as life, especially with kids, doesnt always fall at the right time on your calendar. :)
I am moving into the basement, as we both feel it is important for us to maintain separate space. We also want to ensure we get enough time as a family, together as a 'couple' and of course to maintain our other relationships. (well, I am only dating him right now, but he is dating two other people - though I do revel in alone time)
Has anyone created anything like this before? Any tips? I am thinking in really basic terms like: Two Family Nights, Two Together Nights and Two nights to do as we please. The last night of the week can be a toss up, or rotate or something. Too basic you think?
Thoughts/advice is greatly appreciated.
I see Murf on his weekends off work. Currently Friday through Monday every other weekend and an additional day during the week. Sometimes I am solo other times the kids are with me. The rest of the time I am home with hubby.
But football season just started and things will get interesting. Both hubby and my bf will be coming to games and practices. So I wont lose anytime with either one.
So you stay in the basement unless its your day?
I dont have to STAY in the basement ever really, we just wanted to ensure we all had designated space in the house that is ours. Thats all. I am sure I will be in either his bed or my son's (nightmares, illnesses etc) often. I think there is a level of comfort in knowing you have a space that is yours to retreat to/relax in when you need it, thats all.
Hopefully that made sense
Clarification question first: On the nights to do as you please will you switch off who has your 6 year old so the other can go out?
If so, I might suggest 3 Family Nights, 1 night just you two, 1 night for you to do as you please (no kiddo) and 2 nights for him to do as he pleases (no kiddo). I know that might seem unfair but I'm putting it in the context of him having two other people he's dating while you currently have none. Of course if your dating status changes the schedule might need to change too. And as the parent of 2 kids the idea of one night every week to do as I please sounds heavenly! Right now I might manage twice a month, but once a month is more likely. :-P
ThatGirlInGray: Yes, we will absolutely be taking turns with our son, so a night off, regardless of how you spend it, is really a night OFF. :) Good question. Thanks.
I hear you with the giving him more time, and though there might be times that is hard for me, I definitely want to be fair.
We will obviously see more of each other just because we share a home. So a night a week for his other girlfriends definitely isnt unreasonable...
We all live together.
Friday evening is date night for Maca and I.
Tues evening is pool with kids.
Sat is usually grandkids overnight.
Mon/Wed tend to be homework nights for me and maca has kids.
Thurs is iffy and if he wanted to go date Sat day or eveining would be cool.
Gg works evenings so we do morning dates.
Mornings; m/w school for me and gg has kids.
T/thur/fri gg and i have kids together.
Sat/sun who knows.
I like schedules, because I think they actually make everything a hell of a lot easier - not just practicality-wise; but in terms of avoiding the battles surrounding issues of neglect and so on. My GF, on the other hand, hates schedules.
What I don't personally find necessary is equality in terms of time spent. What I think works better is whatever suits the current dynamic. Most importantly, I think that anything can work, so long as all the *agreed* responsibilities are being met well.
In our household, my GF, myself and her husband live together, with our four year old daughter. There are no strict rules, but per week we aim to allow: one slot for a secondary, one slot for me and GF, one slot for GF and her husband, one slot for family time. Realistically, we are so busy that this tends to become one official slot per fortnight, with little moments of quality time slipped in every day.
What I wouldn't find fair, for example, is if I decided to make the commitment of living with my GF and family, but decided to piss off three nights a week, because I choose to have three external partners. If I want three partners, I acknowledge that I have to see them on rotation; otherwise I end up neglecting things at home. It goes from "I agree to move in, be there, and be present in all of the wonderful things that come with co-habiting" to "I'm living with you, but I'm only really present half the time. That cool?"
That being said, it all depends on how much of a time suck each situation is. My GF finished with her last secondary because she just couldn't make the time for him that he required. When they physically saw each other, their dates would last about 10 hours including travel time. Then she'd have Top Drop the next day. She didn't see him often, because essentially, she'd end up wiping out two days every week because of him. Then, she'd spend every day texting with him and every night, he wanted to talk online or on the phone for hours. In contrast, she's had much more casual play partners, where the dates only lasted three hours each and the communication maintenance was easier. In that case, it wasn't too much of a problem if she wanted to nip out and see both guys in one week, because it didn't cause her to neglect other things. Do you see what I mean?
It also depends on whether each relationship actually impacts anything else. For example, I was involved in an online/LDR for the past seven months. I used to spend about 2-4 hours a day talking to her. However, I arranged to do this when my GF and daughter were busy with other things, or asleep; so it didn't take away from anything. If I'd decided to jabber away to her on Skype every night through dinner, that wouldn't be very fair. So.. I'd spend what? 14-28 hours a week with my secondary, online. I don't think that means I need to spend 28 hours a week talking to my GF or playing with my daughter. Those hours were my free-time hours - times when I'd just be looking on YouTube, or waiting for work emails, or bored because the household were out or sleeping. Now, if my GF had pointed out that she, or our daughter, were feeling unloved... or if my sex life with GF was going through a shit patch... or if I was in danger of losing my job... or wasn't pulling my weight with the housework... if something was being *neglected* in my life, I'd absolutely cut my time down with my secondary and spend extra time making a new toy for my daughter, or a gift for my GF, or writing her a hot piece of erotica to improve our sex life, or doing the washing, or getting on with work. So, it's more about the balance and making sure everything is healthy.
So, in your case... it will be trial and error, I'm sure. If your BF currently sees his other girls once a week each and still wants to do that, then I think it's fair to schedule one time a week with you, too. Since you'll be living together, regular, smaller shots of quality time (mornings in bed, cuddles on the sofa, etc) should be easier.
If after a month or two, you find that he isn't really as romantically 'present' in the household as he is with his other involvements, you can talk about changing the arrangement. Basically, I think it's less about 'official time balance' and more about ensuring that everyone feels that they are getting what they need and meeting the agreements they have made.
To help ensure that a cohabitation agreement is upheld by a court, should it ever be challenged, there are a number of steps which should always be taken:
The cohabitation agreement must be in writing, signed by the parties and witnessed. This is a requirement of Ontario's Family Law Act.
The couple must exchange financial disclosure (e.g. bank statements).
Neither person entering into the cohabitation agreement can do so under duress. It must be a voluntary decision.
Each person should have independent legal advice. This means that each person needs to have their own lawyer. This helps to ensure that everyone fully understands the cohabitation agreement before they sign it and have a lawyer, working only for them, provide them with assistance and advice before they do so. Cohabitation agreements signed without the involvement of two lawyers risk being overturned by the courts, should they ever be challenged, on the basis that one or both persons did not fully understand what it is they were signing.The Agreement cannot be unduly unfair to one person.
I agree with Sparklepop. Worry less about whose "night" it is, and balance each other's needs. When I first started dating my partner, I was okay with very little time (by which I meant sex about 2-3x a week). Usually he'd come over for a couple hours at a time).
Now? He prioritizes my needs on the same level as his OSO, family, and work. I actually have to decline time that he offers :( Because of my own work/family/social needs.
We basically divide time into "Me Time" and "Family Time." We work out family time so that the kids always have at least one (and sometimes three, including me) loving caregiver. Sometimes that means me watching them when he and she have a date. Sometimes that means the usual Saturday activities, in which it used to be just him, but now the kids expect to see me along (and ask for me when I'm not there). I get my evenings with him, after the kids go to sleep and she does, too. She and he get the mornings together.
It all just works out nicely and everyone gets the time they need and, in some cases, more!
And then I don't have to worry about it being "MY" night.
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