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Dealing with an ex when you have children together can be difficult, especially when negative emotions are involved. Are you sharing a child with someone who doesn't live with you? How do you handle the situation? Are you amicable, or is it a challenge? Share your stories and advice with others.
Replied By: jaimeceleste01 on Nov 18, 2015, 12:05PM
I have been trying for the past 6 years to just go with the flow hoping things would work out and his ex wife would realize what she is doing to there 13 year old Daughter, but clearly that is not the case and now it is affecting the childs physical and meatal safty. Her mother has five different children all by 4 different men. She has one child by my husband which is a 13 year old girl. She does not work, has an abusive boyfriend and lets just say the house is never clean and laundry never really ever gets done. She lives in PA and we live in FL so she has allowed his daughter to visit us in the last six years 1 time for a month this past summer. Mind you since returning her to her mother we have been shut out of her life yet again all becuase his daughter asked if she could live with us full-time. We have not talked, emailed or anything since she has gotten back in PA, we have tried calling and we get hung up on, we have been blocked on all there socail media sites and have been completly removed from her life yet again for no reason. We need help in seeking out what we can do, we don't have the money it takes to get a lawyer in PA to take her to court or belive me we would have by now, we are strapped as most people are. We have reached out to the Children and Youth in PA they have many cases on his ex wife that have been reported from many different people but nothing ever gets done. Just this past week her boyfriend attacked her oldest son gashing his head and giving him a black eye, he was arrested but since she bailed him out on Monday now they are confessing there undying love all over Facebook. He attacked your son in front of the other kids and you but yet you allowed him back into there lives. This is not the first time something has happened with her boyfriend just this past Febraury he pulled a knife out and threatend to kill them all when he was caught cheating on her. Needless to say my husbands daughter is in a very toxic enviroment and we only want what is best for her so I am asking for a direction on what we can do to get her out of that mess and into a stable Loving enviroment.
Replied By: sarahmoyer06 on Nov 17, 2015, 2:31PM
For the 17 years I have had my daughter no matter what I do or say my mother co-parents.  If I ground my daughter from her car my mom steps in and gives my daughter her.  I can not parent like this anymore, all I do is cry.  Please someone help.
Replied By: ninersfan42 on Oct 16, 2015, 12:08AM - In reply to dheavne
As a father who has his own custody issues.  Never, never speak to the children regarding their father.  Just tell them they are wonderful children and are loved by many people.  I do not know your custody situation or why the their father decided to give up on his custody situation, but, I know, its not the children's fault.  You love your children to guide them in the right path.  The right path is to tell them to love others as they want to be loved by others.  I do not know what counselor has them writing letters to their father, but, I know my counselor would never have my children write in a negative way toward either parent.  My children go to counseling for coping with their separation anxiety with their mother and me.  Their counselor is a wonderful woman who my children respect.  It really has help them and me cope with the separation anxiety the courts create through a custody order.  I am greatful for finding the right counselor.  Its about my childrens' happiness not mine.  I have never talked negatively about their mother or allow them too.  Instead, we focus, on coping with our feelings which make sense to the situation.  Can't make cake with mud.  Hope this helps.  Good luck and Good Bless You.
Replied By: momfirst252 on Oct 13, 2015, 11:13AM
Eleven years ago I was friends with someone for about 3 years. I knew he had hidden feelings for me but I was focused on maintaining a platonic friendship. On year four of our friendship things changed. We became intimate. However I started to see behaviors in him that had me concerned. Meaning I witnessed on a daily basis that he would drink 1-2 six pack of beer alone. On some instances I witnessed him attempting to drive while inebriated. This caused me to approach things with us cautiously. In a drunken stupor one day he asked me if we could be together.  He was slurring and tripping over his own two feet, that I could not discuss anything with him. I told him instead let’s talk about this another time. He took that as rejection. The following morning when we woke and he was sober, he never mentioned the topic of us being together, nor did I bring it up. Two weeks later he told me that someone had expressed interest in him and that he was going to try to be in a committed relationship with them. Childish as it was I wanted to see if I could get him to step out on his girl for me. Days later, I invited him over and we made love all night. Needless to say I ended up pregnant that night. He stopped answering my calls. The new girlfriend call me one day to tell me that he was happy and to cut my loss. When I decided to maintain the pregnancy, I attempted to write him a letter to notify him of my pregnancy. The girlfriend called me again and told me that my desperate attempts at crying pregnant would not work. I was pregnant, abandoned, humiliated by who I thought was a friend and alone. There was a close platonic friend in my life at the time that came to my rescue and asked me to marry him so that my child would have father. I married him and he was and still is the best father for my son. We have since divorced for three years but still remain great friends and do an awesome job co-parenting our son.  Every year I attempted to call my son’s father in an attempt to notify him of his son and to see if he wanted to be a part of his life. For ten years he never answered or returned my calls. One year he responded via text but his focus was more on trying to sleep with me again then discussing his son. I offered to set up DNA testing and he agreed but he again did not answer my calls after that. Year eleven I finally connect with my son’s father and he has stated he is ready to be a part of his son’s life.  He has three other baby mothers and four other children. All whose lives he has been a part of. To make a long story short we became intimate and discussed attempting to be together as a family.  However I saw behaviors that had me concerned that needed to be addressed prior to meeting our son. Behaviors such as drinking excessively that he would send random inappropriate texts or say inappropriate comments  and not recalling the next day of his actions, no reactions of pictures of his son and more focused on sleeping with me, shutting down completely when confronted with questions to why he has been absent from his son’s life. I have asked was he angry with me about something or did I do something to make him not want to know his son. He has continuously assured me that I didn’t that he was just not being responsible. I suggested that he get individual counseling. Since then I have attempted to transition my son’s father into his life and I have had a lot of resistant from my ex-husband. He feels that my son’s father has not earned the opportunity to be a part of my son’s life and that our son is too young to understand. He is fearful that when my son learns of his biological father and his other kids he will be hurt that he was a part of their lives growing up and has been absent during his. My son’s father never gave me reasoning to why he never tried to know our son or return my contacts. His response was that he was just not being responsible but he wants to do what is right now. He has other children all of which he is part of their lives and has been since the start.  After discussing concerns specifically about my son with my ex and my son’s father, I enrolled my son in counseling to prepare him to meet his biological dad. Out of the blue I get a call from a detective stating a summons needs to be served to me for harassing my son’s biological father. I was completely taken off guard because days prior we spoke on the phone regarding counseling sessions for our son and he gave his condolences for the loss of my father.  He notified my son that he is his father, and then called child protective service (CPS) on me. CPS had to interview my son at school. My son is eleven, he just learned the only dad he knew is not his father and that someone who has not been around all of his life is his father and has called CPS on his mother. Dumfounded by all of this, I spoke with an attorney. She stated that this was stage being set to dodge paying rears in child support and to obtain joint custody to get out of paying support. I have never asked him for any financial support for our son. As I stated before my ex-husband has and still raises my son as his and provides for him like father .I am so hurt he would hurt our son for that. My son is now asking me questions about his biological father I don’t know how to explain. Bible says turn the other cheek and forgive and I am really trying but he hurt my son and I’m struggling with forgiveness of that. If he wants to hurt me or be angry with me for whatever reason I will bear the stripe, but my son is innocent. I learned that he has lived less than 30 minutes away from me for the last three years and he never once attempted to know his son. My son was in a car accident last year and I called him because I was not sure if he would need a blood transfusion or something and he never acknowledged my call. My family has encouraged me to cease any further attempts with him. Currently I have ceased contact with him because I am so angry for how he has hurt my son. I am torn. Part of me feels obligated to allow my son’s father into my son’s life regardless of his ways. However then I feel like I need to protect my son from the type of man he is. Should I let dead dogs lie? Will my son resent me if I don’t attempt to try? In regards to my ex-husband am I overlooking how he feels by wanting to do what’s right . I feel at times I’m trying appease everyone but am I doing what’s best for my son


Replied By: ceisenh4 on Sep 19, 2015, 6:55PM
watch your show all the time I am a fan and this past Friday September 18th, 2015 show I can truly relate to. I am a mother of two and a step mother of two. My husband has 2 children with 2 different women. He has one girl and one boy. My husband has always tried to be active in both his children's lives. We both get along with his daughters(Emma) mother (melanie) you can even say that we are on the level of almost being friends.. We communicate and talk almost every day as parents and my husband co parents with her. Now that being said my husband has a 10 year old son (Dylan) and his mother (melissa) and my husband (chris) really don't get along. It's not that my husband hasn't tried and as for me communicating with her well there's none. I don't communicate with her because in the past and the present she says that I am the root to all emir issues and I control my husband I don't control my husband not one bit. When I say I don't communicate I mean I don't talk to her I don't message her I don't call her email or Facebook her. There's NO contact with us. To be honest I would love to keep it that way because she is totally full of drama. Now this being said my issues are that there is a 10 year old boy involved here and Melissa decided to marry a man in the military and she decided to up and move to Georgia. We did fight her the first time in court and we tried to keep Dylan here because his entire family is here and his roots are all here in maryland. Well they recently moved again to Texas. This boy has been to about 5 to 6 different elementary schools. To me that's a bit extreme. We get visitations every Christmas every spring break and ever summer. Melissa is the one who has to pay for all the transportation which is only fair because we didn't ask her to marry someone in the military and move from state to state to state. We recently got told by someone that she and her husband plan to move again to Oregon. Every Time  that she has moved I have found out that they were given the choice to move back to maryland and each time the have chosen to move further and further away from Dylan's father my husband. The past couple years have been ok with our visitations with Dylan except this summer was REALLY REALLY different. We noticed so,e changes in Dylan big changes. Like if he would get into trouble and we would reprimand him he would kinda shell up and not communicate and he would hide in his room and sometimes cry. No we don't believe in smacking our kids butts or any other parts of their bodies. I believe it is considered abuse to a child if you put your hands on them. Well Dylan was caught cursing and my husband sat Down and talked to him asked him where he is learning these words. Dylan's response was that mommy and George do nothing but fight all the time in front of him. He than went on and told my husband all kinds oft hints that have been going on at his mommies house. He told us that George calls him gay boy, faggot, and bitch boy. He told us that one day mommy and George were arguing in baby Georgie's room and mommy was on the floor and Dylan got scared and hid in his room and mommy was yelling Dylan help me Dylan. He also told us that George gets mad and throws things SOMETIMES... That when they lived in Georgia George threw a glass cup so hard that there was a piece of glass stuck in the floor and after cleaning it up there was a hole there.. He also said that one time George was yelling at him and he got upset and ran to his room and shut the door and George came in after him and he smacked his butt. He's also told us that mommy has told him that he needed to enjoy this summer with us because she plans to take us back to court and have him taken from us because we are terrible people. He's also said that mommy always talks bad about us and it hurts his feelings.. Melissa has even told Dylan that she's going to punish him as soon as he gets home. Since June we have been taking steps to try and fight for him to protect him. He has also said to us that he didn't want to tell us about these things because he likes to come here and forget about the things that happens at mommies. So in words this is kind of like a mental vacation for him because he don't have to deal with me and his daddy fighting and screaming and yelling and throwing things and cursing.. And NO NAME CALLING OR BUTT BEATINGS. Finally Dylan has also told us that when he play wrestles with George, George gets to rough or serious and he puts him in a choke hold and wrestles him to the ground and don't let go when Dylan asks him to. Dylan has claimed that he has him in such a hold that he almost passes out. These are things that a 10 year old boy is telling his daddy. Chris tried to talk to Melissa about these things he tried to co parent with her to find out what is going on but she didn't want to hear it she just said Dylan needs to toughen up she also has said that when Dylan gets put in a choke hold its his fault because he started it by jumping on Georges back and than when Dylan's had enough he over exaggerates and say ohhhh ohh George is hurting me ohh and starts crying. So our first step was take him to a therapist. Step two was call child protective services. Step three get a lawyer to fight for him to protect him. The therapist also contacted child protective services in Texas... It seems as though they didn't believe these accusations and stories they believed melissa and her husband. From my point  of view as to why they don't believe these things must be because George is in the army and since he's fighting for our country lets brush it under the rug. Than also I contacted his ex wife because she has a daughter with him I felt like she should know about these things because her daughter visits them and who knows she might be going through these things too and not saying anything so I told her what Dylan has said and that cps was told about these things. So now Melissa and George are now saying that we are lying so that we can change our visitation orders... And she claims we are doing this so we don't have to pay child support. Please I don't care about child support nor does my husband he's paid child support since day one and has never been late and has never under paid. He made it so it all comes directly out of his check so we don't even see the money and could care less about the money. If it were about the money we would have taken her back to modify it along time ago because we still pay for Dylan when he's with use for the summer Christmas and spring ... We just left it alone because that's Dylan's money... Anyways my husband kept Dylan when it was time to send him home because we were worried and he didn't want to go he was scared to go. Reason being is because he finally opened up and Melissa no George now know because cps was involved and he was so scared to go home and he would be in deep trouble for telling us any of that stuff. We enrolled him in school,and let him join a bowling league. He was happy he said he loved going to the school here better than Texas. He was HAPPY... We knew she would come and get him when she could but we didn't know when so my husband put her on the do not release to list.  Sure enough she showed up at the school on a Tuesday. If you were there dr. Phil you're heart would be broken into pieces. The school was fighting with us they were on our side they did not want her to take him. There was an officer there. Dylan was so upset he was crying and dry heaving he was yelling for daddy he kept saying please don't let her take me daddy daddy daddy. I want to stay with you. Please. He even tried to run but Melissa grabbed his shirt. And of course when chris and Melissa were in the school Melissa's sister was outside and her sister kept looking at me and laughing and lipped fuck you at me and than when she got word that the police were going to give Melissa Dylan she than cheered silently at me. It was like she was taunting me to do something but I left it alone because to be honest this isn't a game this is a child's life this isn't something to sit there and cheer or taunt about. How can you cheer and smile and laugh when this child is being abused. Mostly mentally but mental abuse is still abuse and it still hurts just as much as physical abuse. The whole sense was so heart breaking my husband was numb we tried to protect him as best as we could we had filed the modification of custody and we had a therapist and a lawyer. But it wasn't enough to keep him here it was the most heart wrenching thing. Chris and our lawyer went to the court house to try and get a protective order on Dylan's behalf but was denied we even have a letter stating that there IS abuse in that house by the step father from Dylan's therapist. But the judge didn't want to hear it because the abuse was happening in Texas not in maryland. We barley could afford the lawyer there's no way we could afford a plane ticket and car and hotel and food to Texas to go to a court room and possibly be turned away... Maryland does have jurisdiction over Dylan because the custody agreement was started here and child support is through here. But since the abuse is happening in another state maryland can't open another case the only case that can be reopened is modification of custody because that's in maryland. Chris is now being charged with contempt for breaking the custody agreement. She is so selfish she's asking that all visitations be cut until the modification of custody happens . We have tried everything we could here in maryland there's nothing else we can do but play this sit and wait game for a court date and by that time Dylan is going to have to stay there and we feel like he's going to shut back down and not open back up about anything ever again. I feel so bad for him. Melissa is saying everything is a lie..we even have recording of a phone conversation it's proof that she does nothing but scream cuss and don't communicate also proves that George has put Dylan in a choke hold but it's Dylan's fault. We also have recording of Dylan's reaction when she showed up and took him. She's also saying that we didn't tell her we are keeping him which is a lie chris told her he wasn't sending him because of the abuse. She lied to police told them he didn't tell her but his plane was suppose to leave early in the morning and she was having him flown into Oregon and Oregon is three hours behind us well she called the police and told them 930 am our time.his plane wouldn't have landed there by than yet so how did she know he wasn't on there. It don't make any sense. So if anyone is the liar it's her. Also they have punished him because a stupid PlayStation remote was left here. They won't allow him to play any videos games until we mail the remote to Texas I mean really the way he was taken of course this child didn't say oh wait let me grab my PlayStation remote. I know we aren't famous and we are in the headlines in the news but we want your help for Dylan's sake we want to help him we want to protect him. We have plenty of evidence messages pics texts and maybe two or three recordings. 
Thanks for taking the time to read my long story and I hope to hear from you to help us with what to do next. 
Replied By: jarirismom on Sep 18, 2015, 8:13PM - In reply to courtneys1s
people always think your crazy when your friendly with your ex or that one of you is still in love with each other. What people fail to see when these judgement are being made is yes there is love and it's the love we both share for our child. No child should ever have to choose between their parents. And guess what people I no longer have to live with persons faults or he with mine so let the anger go and remember the person they were before the problems started between you and be friend with that person. My ex cheated on Me not my son for two years. I am going to make every effort to make sure my child has the best childhood possible
Replied By: nancjay on Sep 18, 2015, 3:24PM
Dear Dr Phil, 

I am feeling so enraged about your show today that I could not stand by and say nothing. I finished watching it here on the east coast about 20 minutes ago and I am still upset. 

I know this is a bit outragues but we need one of you in every town across America so you can council couples with children, before any judge grants another divorce!

Thanks for listening

Replied By: onemommahere on Apr 22, 2015, 9:47PM
I just joined and have no idea what I'm doing,so be kind.

I have been divorced for four years. We have three children, two aged out of visits and the drama involved in that. One is 15 and still getting visits every other weekend with his father.

The stress of co parenting with my immiture, narcisistic ex is getting to me and our children.

He had multiple relationships since the divorce, all women he met and quickly moved in wihtout knowing them well,much less our children knowing them.

In two years there have been three women, the last he married after knowing her for 3 months.

Who he has dated or moved in is none of my buisness, but the ups and downs of all these women in and out the door is hard on our children.

The biggest issue is how he acts now with the new wife.

He has an established pattern of getting along with me when he's single and being weird and unreasonable when he's not.

With the new wife, things are awful.

One minute he wants  me to text him, the next e-mail him, sometimes I can call him, but it's spotty.

I have been prevented from talking to our son during his visits, then other times he'll call me and ask for concessions when it comes to our son.

The latest thing is he is refusing to come to my house to pick up our son if his wife comes with him for his weekend visits. He will pick him up at our house if he comes to pick him up alone.

I'm tired of the crap, the inconsistency and what this is doing to me and especially our children.

I told him flat out that I'm not making our child walk to meet him just because the new wife is with him.

He then threatened to call the police and have me arrested if I don't force my child to walk to meet him because I would be stopping his visit.

I have NO desire to stop his visits, I just want consistency and cooperation without all this drama.

Should I make my child walk to meet him?

Is asking him to pick up our son at home unreasonable?

I don't see how him refusing to pick him up at home equals me violating the visit order.

I just want to do what is right for our chidlren, but I am SO sick of trying to do the right thing and being screwed anyway.

Replied By: helpimlosingit on Apr 6, 2015, 9:20AM
My ex has never been interested in the kids, we have 2 together.  Even when we were married, he worked and then sat at his computer playing lord of the rings online the rest of his time at home, if the kids made noise i had to take them somewhere so he would not yell.

I left him, he put me in debt so far i had to file bankruptcy, he does not call his kids, reply to text messages or come to events unless it means he gets to punish, yell, or force them to do something they dont like.

My son has anger issues, i took him to therapy for, hes got anxiety, adhd and self worth issues, i explained this to my ex and the very next visit he pulled him to the side and told him everyone leaves because they dont want to be around him.  My son called me crying begging to come get him

My daughter at 5 would not get ing the shower, so he took her updstairs held her upside down over the toliet and threatened as she cried to wash her hair in the toliet, he never has beds for them and says he has not money to help them, that child support is all thats needed.

My children fight and dont want to visit him, he accuses me of a ton of stuff but i now know his gf step daughter 17 yrs old had done pot with my 14 and 16 yr old in the room and drank and offered it to him

so yeah i cant get along with him,, i have a box full of rude hateful messages from him.  i am now on anti depressants and cant even afford a attorney after my last go around

Lord help me
Replied By: courtneys1s on Mar 20, 2015, 1:47PM
My ex husband and his girlfriend are two of my closest friends. Myself, my boyfriend, my ex and his girlfriend hang out together... when the kids are with grandparents. No, were not in some sort of hippie commune, we don't have some sort of twisted "love square" and our kids arent buried in confusion. My ex and I loved eachother enough to have three children together- the most wonderful kids in the world- and we respect one another and are good enough friends to provide our kids with a true teamwork based approach to parenting. This summer we are all going on vacation together.

The hard part... other people's judgements. Friends of my boyfriend saying that my ex and I must still be involved in order to get along so well. My parents inferring that I am doing damage to my children by confusing them. And the general look of disgust I get from peers when I proudly say I set my ex up with his new girlfriend. "That's just so weird." I hear that all the time. 

I can't understand why others are so put off by our parenting style and friendship. It seems as if others would be MORE accepting of a hostile relationship. One, in which, our children were raised by two seperate kingdoms altogether... kingdoms battling over time, money, property and the childrens' love. Who wins in that situation? Certainly not our kids. 

In our arrangement, my kids have the opportunity to have special time with just mommy and daddy, nobody misses Christmas morning, everyone they love is present for big life events and neither one of their parents will miss seeing their eyes light up at Disney or their first time in the ocean. 

Our arrangement could not work for everyone. I understand that some divorces don't end on an amicable note. But divorce does not NEED to be a tragedy. For us, it has been an opportunity for our childrens' and our own support systems to expand. 
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